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Call for stricter laws to protect women in Sudan

August 27 - 2020 KHARTOUM
Members of the No to Oppression of Women Initiative call for laws protecting women against harassment in Khartoum yesterday (Social media)
Members of the No to Oppression of Women Initiative call for laws protecting women against harassment in Khartoum yesterday (Social media)

Sudanese women’s groups organised a protest vigil in front of the Ministry of Justice in Khartoum yesterday to condemn sexual violence against women, and called on the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice to enact deterrent laws that protect women from physical, verbal, and psychological harassment.

The vigil was prompted after singer Asha El Jebel was subjected to verbal harassment during a concert in Khartoum earlier this week. The participants held banners and chanted slogans denouncing the increase in sexually motivated harassment of women. It also coincided with international Womens Equality Day.

The members of the No to Oppression of Women Initiative in cooperation with the Women’s Revolution Initiative, and Sudanese Women, handed a memorandum to the ministry, demanding that the term sexual harassment be included in the law with detailed definitions, including harassment by touch, verbal, or stalking, tracking, phone calls, remarks, and others aggressions.

‘The assault on singer Asha El Jebel is a flagrant violation against all women in Sudan’ – No to Oppression of Women Initiative

It also called for increased sentences for offenders “to reflect the harmful and lasting effects on the victims”.

The No to Oppression of Women Initiative condemned the assault on the singer as “a flagrant violation against all women in Sudan”.

In a press statement on Wednesday the Initiative said that “this behaviour does not resemble the Sudanese people, the generation of the revolution, and the struggle of El Kandakat… What happened [to singer Asha El Jebel] is counterrevolutionary behaviour that must be seriously addressed.”

The women further called on the government to remove “the remnants of the former regime’s policies that were strongly against women’s social, economic and political participation by putting in place laws to exclude them, but this proved to be impossible”.

In its statement, the initiative called on the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice to enact deterrent laws that protect women from physical, verbal, and psychological harassment.

The legal office of the No to Oppression of Women Initiative expressed its willingness to provide all legal aid to singer Asha El Jebel.


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