Sudanese women on Monday took their grievances to the streets in Omdurman as they demanded for fifty percent participation in all the transitional period decision making processes.
The protest organisers of the "No' to Women's Oppression Initiative held a press conference in the Umma Party's headquarters where cited their commitment to achieve equality, justice, and freedom for all women.
Sudanese women were on the front lines of protests and in the negotiating rooms that brought down military rule but they have yet to take their rightful place in the new institutions.
Sudan made the transition signing to civilian rule was a moment of national jubilation, marking the end of 30 years of dictatorship and eight months of deadly protests.
But as the ceremony attended by a host of foreign dignitaries unfolded, one thing jumped out: the only female speaker at the three-hour event was the host.
“Without the presence of women in decision-making positions, we present two demands. Firstly, we want to be the sixth bloc, like any other party that became a bloc. Secondly, we demand participation and not representation. (We want)the participation of all women in all the decision making,” said Dr. Issan Fakiri, chairperson of “Women Initiative”.
"Our struggle continues in order to achieve equality, justice, and freedom for women."
The women say they demand the consideration of the “No” to Women’s Oppression initiative as a main component in the ranks of the Alliance for Freedom and Change.
“Our struggle continues in order to achieve equality, justice, and freedom for women; and therefore, the “No” to Women’s Oppression initiative reinforces its demands for the participation of women in the positions of decision making within the Alliance for Freedom and Change and all the transitional period organisations, considering it is a basic right,” said Amira Osman Ahmed, secretary-general of “Women Initiative”.
In a statement on Sunday, the Initiative called for redress for women victims of human rights violations and victims of arbitrary dismissal and oppression and to address the issues of displaced women and refugees.
Sudan's new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who arrived in the country on Wednesday, raised the issue in his first comments to reporters after being sworn in.
"We have to concentrate on women's participation. Sudanese women played a very big part in our revolution," said the 61-year-old former UN economist.
"But during the negotiations and as well as during the signing of the peace agreement, it was only men participating. It is time to rectify this," Mr Hamdok said.
Header Image Credits: AP Photo/Hassan Ammar