Talkin’ about a revolution

Awadia Agbna was murdered by public order police in front of her house in Khartoum on Monday 5th March, 2012 night

Don’t you know
They’re talkin’ about a revolution
It sounds like whisper
Don’t you know
They’re talkin’ about a revolution
It sounds like whisper

While they’re standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in the unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

Poor people gonna rise up
And get their share
Poor people gonna rise up
And take what’s theirs

Don’t you know
You better run…
Oh I said you better
Run
run
run…

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التعليم مجاني والزامي

المدارس مفتوحة لكل الاطفال
ليس لديها سعات استيعابية قصوى
ثمانية فصول دراسية
التلاميذ في كل فصل حوالي 100-130
أربعة أساتذة معينيين

كل تلميذ إما يدفع 50 قرش يوم الاحد أو يتعرض للطرد والضرب
ال50 قرش حوافر للمتطوعين/ات*

بعض المتطوعين/ات حالفهم الحظ لتلقي دروس في حقوق الانسان
بجانب الامهات
الام تستنكر الضرب والطرد

المتطوعين/ات يستنكرون / تستنكرن من الامهات عدم سداد حق المواصلات والفطور.

ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ

نازحة تقطن أطراف الخرطوم ، قررت العودة الي الفاشر ، حيث السكن في المعسكر بدون إيجار ومدارس المنظمات بدون 50 يوم الاحد.

والحكومة بتقول التعليم مجاني وإلزامي  ومتاح للجميع

ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ
*اتحفظ على تسمية المعلمين/ات بالمتطوعين/ات.

عن فلانة

القصة دي حكتها لي فلانة ،… فلانة دي واحدة صحبتي ، بعرفها زي روحي وامكن اكتر ،… العينة الما بتقدر تسكت بي كلام ، او تدس احساس زي ما بيقول المثل ” الفي قلبها علي لسانها

فلانة قالت تغير جو وتشم ليها حبة هوا ،… مشت تشرب قهوة في شارع النيل ،… معاها أحد الاصدقاء ( فلان داك) مشوا ، واتمشوا ،… اخر شي قالو خلاص نقعد مع اي ست شاي ،..

قعدوا،.. الجو كان جميل جداً زي ايام ديسبمر ، لاحر لابرد ،.. والمرة جابت بخور ،… وكان لطيفة شديد ،… افتكرت ( فلانة) وفلان داك) بيحبو بعض ،.. وونسة وضحك ، وونسة ،.. كان في ناس كتاااااار قاعدين ،… زي (فلانة ) وفلان داك) والوقت لسة بدري ، العشا ما جا،… جات عربية وقفت جنبهم ،… فيها اتنين بيتونسوا ،.. وهم راكبين ومفتحين البيبان ،.. وطلبوا قهوة برضو ،… ولا شنو ما عارفة ، ما ركزت معاهم شديد ،…

ما حتتخيلو حصل شنو ؟؟؟

جات عربية الدورية ،… ماشة تتدب ،… والعساكر بيبحلقو في الناس وش وش ،… ليه ؟ الله اعلم ،.. مشو زي متر كدة مننا ،… وجو راجعين ،… الله يسترنا مهنم عيونهم شر شر ، أعوذ بالله،… نادو الناس القاعدين في العربية ،… وهاك يا كواريك وسب وتهزيئ ،… ليه ؟ مافي زول عارف ،… ناس قاعدين في الشارع نص الناس ،… فلانة ما قدرت تستوعب ،… أرح يا فلان داك نمشي من هنا أعصابي ما بتتحمل جنس دة ، العجب كان سألوني أهلي بتجيهم صدمة”” بعد شوية واحد من العساكر نزل ساكي البت ،… كانت دايرة تتصل بالتلفون ،… وهو ساكيها داير يقلعو منها ،… سبحااااااااان الله ! ” سريع يا فلان داك ، دي حاجة ما انسانية ، ولو سكتنا عليها ما بننوم ، ولو اتكلمنا ………

” اها يا مدام ، شكرا علي القهوة والبخور ، والاستضافة الكريمة ، الحساب كم؟

” الكباية بي جنيهين “

” ليه؟ هسة قريب مش كانت بي جنيه ؟ “

“والله يا اخواني انتو ما أرفين الهاسل ، امبارح جوا العساكر شالو الكراسي دي كلها ودوها البلدية مشيت ارجعهم الليلة قالو لي ادفعي غرامة 5 جنيه لكل كرسي “

” انتي اسمك منو ياختي ومن وين؟ ” “اسمي رانيا ، من دارفور”

” خلاص بنجيك تاني قهوتك ظريفة وقدر ما أقول اجيك تاني ، أخاف من….
الحكاوي كترت ، كترت شديد ،… والسكات بقي صعب ،… الواحد بقي ما عارف اخير قلبو يكون ميت ،… ولا يكون حي وكل يوم ينتح فيك الله ليك يا رانيا ، الله في الحكاوي كترت ، كترت شديد ،… والسكات بقي صعب ،… الواحد بقي ما عارف اخير قلبو يكون ميت ،… ولا يكون حي وكل يوم ينتح فيك

الله ليك يا رانيا ، الله في

الحريات لا تتجزأ

جهاز الأمن السوداني تلاتة يوم ينكر ويلف و يدوّر و يكضب و يحلف إنو ما قبض على المواطن محمد عالم و ومعطل شغلو كللو و سايب المظاهرات و البنات اللابسات بناطلين و الشباب اللابسين نضارات شمسية و القهاوي البتبيع شيشة و ستات الشاي المادافعين ضريبة وو.. مهددات الأمن الحقيقية و جاري وراء زول قال لي زول (ما بتخجل)..

تعليق منقول من سودانيز أونلاين حول اعتقال الناشط محمد حسن عالم http://www.sudaneseonline.com/cgi-bin/sdb/2bb.cgi?seq=msg&board=380&msg=1325530280

الحريات لا تتجزأ.

الحاجة الما قادرة القى ليها تفسير ، زول يعترض على اعتقال ناشط سياسي وبيعتبر المظاهرات مهددة حقيقية للأمن ، بجانب:

  • بت لابسة بنطلون. (لو انت معقد نفسياً والبنطلون بيضايقك غض بصرك ، بدل البحلقة والتحرش)

  • ولد لابس نضارة شمسية. (احتمال عندو حساسية من الشمس أو لابس نضارة شمسية لأي سبب ضاراك بي شنو ياخي)

  • قهوة بتبيع شيشة. (الشيشة انتقلت من مهددة للصحة والجهاز التنفسي لمهددة للأمن)

  • ست شاي ما دافعة ضريبة. (لو دفعت الضاريب ما بتبقي مهددة للأمن)

مهددات الأمن الحقيقية في اعتقادي (وأعني بالأمن ، أمن المواطنين ، والحفاظ على حقوقهم المكفولة بالدستور ومواثيق حقوق الانسان العالمية) هي العقليات المتبلدة الحيوانية ، التي لا ترى مجالاً سلمياً للاختلاف ، لا تحل نزاعاتها الا بالمناطحة ، العقليات التي لا يمكنها تجاوز خديعة أن المرأة هي فقط أنثى.

التحية لبوشي وكل سجناء الرأي الأحرار ، يوماً ما سينفك أسركم ، لكن من يحرر العقول المسجونة… المسمومة.

Western Media and the Image of Women of Arab Spring

Introduction

Arab appraisal is popular peaceful demonstrations against ruling regimes started in Tunisia in Dec 2010. The popular revolutions\ extended to other countries in the area. Tunisia revolution has ended by escape of Bin Ali from Tunisia on Jan 15th, 2011. On Jan 25th, 2011 the demonstrations started in Egypt. On February demonstrations started in Yemen and Libya followed by Syria and Bahrain. The commonalities between these revolutions are popular and peaceful against autocratic regimes which treat the protesting persons violently. Another major communality is the continuous media coverage due to the advancement of technologies. Also these revolutions are linked to IT revolutions and the evolution of social media which facilitates the communications between people with similar interests through Facebook, twitter and other social websites and lead to activism and social/ political mobilization of the societies.

The media

Reuters: Reuters is a British news agency headquartered in London, founded on Oct 1851. Until 2008 the Reuters news agency formed part of an independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data. Since the merger between Reuters Group and The Thomson Corporation the Reuters news agency has been a subsidiary of Thomson Reuters, forming part of its Markets Division.

Washington Post: The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.’s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation. The newspaper is published as a broadsheet, with photographs printed both in color and black and white. The newspaper is owned by The Washington Post Company, an education and Media Company that also owns Kaplan, Inc. and many media ventures aside from The Post.

New York Times: The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization. Its website is the most popular American online newspaper website, receiving more than 30 million unique visitors per month.

BBC: The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff. Its main responsibility is to provide public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. BBC was founded in1927.

CNN Cable News Network (CNN) is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States. CNN is owned by parent company Time Warner, and the U.S. news channel is a division of the Turner Broadcasting System. Through CNN International, this can be seen by viewers in over 212 countries and territories

Observations

Reuters:

Reuters collected photos from all the Arabic continents which observed a revolution. The collection was reflecting the participation of women in the protests and how brave they are when they are confronting against armed police forces and the dictatorship in general. Also it reflects how women are messengers of peace and nonviolence in these protests especially in Yemen from Tawakul Karman; Nobel Prize winner to the women and girls claiming peace and nonviolence in their daily demonstrations. They imaged the Libyan women participation in war as fighters. Also they have published an article about women rights and the Arab spring, Shirin Ebadi, Iranian feminist and Nawal Alsadawi argued that we cannot speak about women rights till the new Arab states achieve democracy, human dignity and freedom. Shirin Ebadi warned Arab women from the repetition of Iranian revolution in 1979 which Iranian women has participated in and oppressed by the dominance of Islamic Republic.

New York Times:

On Oct 7th, 2011 they have published an article criticizing the winning of Nobel Peace Prize by Islamic women activist, Tawakul Karman. The critiques are that she didn’t make huge efforts in peace building/ peacekeeping rather than its symbolic position of being women and Islamist and activist. On Oct 12th, 2011 they have published an article about Lina Ben Mhenni; a 27 years old Tunisian girl and a blogger. The article mentioned her experience with blogging under the rule of Bin Ali and speaks in general about the role of Facebook and social media in revolutions; the threats coming from social media usage and how the security personnel can use these media to counteract the work of revolts and find information about them.

CNN:

An article on Nov 2nd, 2011 states that As portions of the Arab world struggle to extinguish decades of oppression and dictorial rule, the rights and opportunities for women in these societies stand at a delicate precipice, this article was concerned by comparing women status and the oppression of women prior to the revolutions in each country and the possible backwards of their status as theocrats are trying to control the newly formed governments. The most obvious example of this is the declarations of Mustafa Abdel Galil, the president of National Transitional Council on Libya liberation day that he will cancel laws incompatible with Shariaa as the law that prohibit polygamy.

Washington Post:

A unique article on June 21st, 2011 focuses on violence against women in war time. Most of the media focus on actors and ignores victims. Rape has occurred in all the Arab states that have revolted specially Syria and Libya. In Syria raped women are killed by their families (honor killing). In Tunisia women were beaten. In Egypt they were sexually assaulted. In Bahrain 9 female doctors and 4 nurses were seized. All over these countries women are seized, detained and forcibly disappeared.

BBC:

On Nov 4th, 2011 an article highlighted the importance of media in these revolutions. They are not the political landscape only; but the media too. On Nov 3rd they have broadcasted the testimony of Melanne Verveer, The US ambassador at-large for global women issues. She discussed the women situation and participation in political transition in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.

Other Published Articles:

The Pink Hijab:

This article discussed how the media is affecting the Arab culture, with special regards to harmful traditional practices. It took Egypt as a case study and compared the incidence of FGM in the 1990’s to now. Also it tackles Hijab Fashion and the reason behind the huge numbers of girls being veiled is they have more freedoms within the society than being unveiled. The article highlighted the growing of theocratic movements in the Arab world.

As Arab Spring Turns to Winter:

The Arab spring will affect women status, they will face challenges rooted in the history and may take them backwards. Their political participation may be minimized or even ignored as example in Egypt no woman was participated in Egypt Constitutional Reform Committee. The article suggests that the solution will be in implementing CEDAW as most Arab countries have ratified it. This to ensure women participation at all levels of decision making.

Remarks:

Arab women with regard to Arab spring are seen by international media either as actors in the revolutions with little concern on the victim women who suffered and experienced violence. The media dialed with women in the Arab spring as a unified unit. Regarding Arab women as political actors and active participants in the revolts and in some cases leaders is changing the image of culturally oppressed weak Arab women. Another dimension was concerned by women status after Arab appraisal if it will be improved or worsened. Here the media regarded women in each continent as a separate case.

Conclusion:

As Arab spring is affecting the Middle East politics, it is also changing the image of Arab people in general and women specially. People revolts to gain their freedom and proofed they are not primitive and oppressed though women. Although women struggle does not ended yet; by changing autocratic regimes is the first step towards gaining their rights as humans/ equal citizens. As stated in BBC article; the media became an actor in politics, so by reflecting a real image of women politician, concerned by advancing their status and focus of the violations they faced it is a step towards mobilizing the local and international community to achieve equality.

References

1. Read, Donald (1992). The Power of News: The History of Reuters 1849–1989. Oxford, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-821776-5. 2. Pérez-Peña, Richard (April 20, 2009). “The Times Wins 5 Pulitzer Prizes”. The New York Times (The New York Times Company). http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/21/business/media/21pulitzer.html. Retrieved April 32, 2009. 3. Adams, Russell (January 24, 2011). “New York Times Prepares Plan to Charge for Online Reading”. The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704213404576100033883758352.html. Retrieved January 26, 2011. 4. “Circulation numbers for the 25 largest newspapers”. The Boston Globe. October 25, 2010. http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2010/10/25/circulation_numbers_for_the_25_largest_newspapers/. 5. Retrieved 2010-05-25.,”Walter Reed and Beyond”. The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/walter-reed/index.html 6. 1889 from the paper’s corporate history. 7. BBC. Retrieved on 6 January 2010. “British Broadcasting Corporation Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London, W1A 1AA.” 8. Retrieved 23 September 2010,”BBC: World’s largest broadcaster & Most trusted media brand”. Media Newsline. http://www.medianewsline.com/news/151/ARTICLE/4930/2009-08-13.html. 9. Retrieved 23 September 2010,”Digital licence”. Prospect. http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/?p=64654. 10. Retrieved 23 September 2010,”About the BBC – What is the BBC”. BBC Online. http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/purpose/what.shtml.. 11. Reese Schonfeld Bio. (January 29, 2001) MeAndTed.com. Retrieved 2007-06-18. 12. Charles Bierbauer, CNN senior Washington correspondent, discusses his 19-year career at CNN. (May 8, 2000). CNN.com. Retrieved 2007-06-18. 13. Taipei Times. May 31, 2005, “CNN changed news – for better and worse” at http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2005/05/31/2003257358. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 14. Kiesewetter, John (May 28, 2000). “In 20 years, CNN has changed the way we view the news”. Cincinnati Enquirer. http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2000/05/28/loc_kiesewetter.html. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 15. http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?articleId=USRTR2SCGB#a=1 16. http://topics.nytimes.com/top/refe

تتطلب عرض الشرائح هذه للجافا سكريبت.

rence/timestopics/people/k/tawakul_karman/index.html?scp=1&sq=Tawakul&st=cse 17. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/13/world/africa/a-blogger-at-arab-springs-genesis.html 18. http://articles.cnn.com/2011-11-02/us/us_arab-women-rights_1_equal-rights-human-rights-societies?_s=PM:US 19. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/women-in-the-arab-spring-the-other-side-of-the-story/2011/06/21/AG32qVeH_blog.html 20. http://www.bbc.co.uk/journalism/blog/2011/11/big-stories-the-arab-spring.shtml 21. http://www.wilsonquarterly.com/article.cfm?aid=1969 22. http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=47268

Shame on us people

Date: Sunday 25th Dec, 2011

Time: 7 pm

Place: Between Blue Nile Bridge and Shendi Bus Station in Khartoum North

The incident:

A woman with movement disability sitting on the ground; surrounded by three policemen. She was weeping loudly and they were shouting loud on her; in a street full of persons walking as if nothing of that is happening. Actually I noticed this incident for  few minutes or less through the bus window and couldn’t follow what happened to her. I guess she was crying because she was beaten or threatened. I can hear her voice till now, I can’t forget the insights of denial in the faces of passers-by.

Again; two days later and I’m asking myself about what she has done to be humiliated in that way regardless she is a woman, regardless she is disabled. May be she is homeless or practicing begging (Such act is criminalized by law), but no human being deserve such humiliating degrading treatment whatsoever did.

Shame on us people !!!

Women Political Participation Challenge in Sudan

Introduction:

In this paper I’m going to provide a theoretical background on women political participation, then reflect the history of Sudanese women political participation. Starting from the theoretical background I’ll represent the modes of Sudanese women political participation, the obstacle that hinder women political participation, the efforts done to advance women political participation and its outcomes. Finally I’m going to represent my own recommendations to advance women political participation in Sudan.

Theoretical Background of Women Political Participation:

In order to define the whole concept of women political participation we had to break it down. Participation is defined briefly as taking a part. The definition of political participation seems to the extent of what is political many argument and theories has took place in defining what is political; the conclusion of these theories was in the definition of political participation as taking part in the formulation, passage or implementation of public policies. There are three interrelated aspects of political participation; the mode of participation, the intensity of participation and the quality of participation.

The Mode of Political Participation:

Modes of political participation are various and will differ according to the opportunities, institutionalized or informal, available, the interests and the political resources of the participants, the attitudes prevalent in the society. Generally participation implies more positive action than mere social existence. The person may take part in politics by voting or joining a political party or being active in a pressure group seeking to influence policy formation by government. A political participant may be a minister or a parliamentarian; i.e. a member of the executive or legislative institutions.

The Intensity of Political Participation:

The intensity of political participation is directly related to who participate; and how frequent. It refers to the proportion of the population that takes part in political activity; can be measured in depth and width. The bulk of the population participates merely at a fairly minimal level by periodically electing someone who participate intensively and continuously at elite level.

The Quality of Political Participation:

There are two main considerations in assessing the quality of political participation; how far is the participation effective or ineffective? And how far it is real or façade? Political participation can be defined as most effective when the policy outcomes are what intended by participants and the direct result of their actions. Sometimes a person or a party does not participate at all in the decision; the ineffectiveness laid generally against certain modes of participation.

Women Political Participation:

Women political participation starts with the concern and interest in public issues, develops to the involvement in politics and political activism and reaches a peak of participation in elections as a voter or candidate. The participation of women in political and public decision-making is generally recognized both in political and in legislative terms as a basic human right. Despite these gains, gender discrimination remains a formidable barrier to women’s participation in formal decision making processes. Political institutions tend to perpetuate an exclusionary attitude and culture of politics towards women.

Historical Background of Women Political Participation in Sudan:

The history of Sudanese women political participation starts with the struggle against Turkish colonialism when Mehera Bint Aboud and Rebha Alkenaneia were participated in battles and the later worked as messenger for Mahdi all over Sudan. Then the struggle of women continued with their participation in the national movements joining their husbands and families against British- Egyptian colonialism as they were concerned with the communications and the security of the meetings.

The period between 1946- 1955 showed a huge involvement of women in politics; with the increase in girls education and the formation of women associations, although the work of these associations was limited to activities related to the domestic arena like health promotion; maternal and child health, fighting harmful traditional practices and illiteracy. Sudanese women union was formed in 1952 and the Sudanese Communist Party was the first political party that opened its membership to women in the early 1950’s. Sudanese women had claimed their right to vote in the elections of the legislative committee in 1954 and voting was exclusively to secondary school graduates which were approximately 20 women only. Also they had claimed to be represented in Temporary Constitution Formation Committee; Ms. Thuria Eldirdiri the secretary general of the Sudanese women union was a member of this committee. Then Women won the right to vote in election after 1964 revolution which discarded the military rule of General Ibrahim Aboud, also Ms. Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim was the first parliamentarian women elected in 1964. Also the first women judge was hired in 1965 and forced to retired in 1989. A military coup lead by General Gafar Nimiri ended the democratic period in 1969 and appointed Ms. Fatima Abd Elmahmoud, minister of social welfare as the first Sudanese women minster. Then a popular revolution had ended the military regime of General Gafar Nimiri in 1985 and the third democratic era had begun, during the election in1986 only 2 women form the Islamic front were elected although women role in public issues had become more advanced due to their involvement in the relief and programmes to overcome famine. A third military coup laid by the Islamic front has ended the democratic era in 1989 and all parties were prohibited from practicing any political activity.

In 1990 the general Sudanese Women Union has been established to promote religious values in the society with regard to marriage and family care especially between women and protect them from immoralities. The union continues in promoting the agenda of Islamic front and ruling regime till now. The National Democratic Women Gathering was established secretly in parallel with the Sudanese Women Union by parties. The government of the Islamic front specifies 10% of the seats for women in the appointed parliament and they were a part of the executive institutions and civil society. Many women were forced to retire and all women should undergo military training with the popular defense militias.

Comprehensive peace agreement was signed in 2005 between the ruling National Congress Party and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/ Army and it was another promising opportunity for women when the women movement won the struggle and conserve 25% quota of the parliament for women. Almost all of the elected parliamentarian women in the 2010 election were from National Congress Party. Women had enormous role in electoral process as voters; in 1964 elections the percentage of voting was 72 % for women and 78% for men.

Women Political Rights in the Sudanese Constitutions:

The Temporary constitution of Sudan conserves for women the right to vote. In the constitution of 1969 was the first constitution for Sudan and was concerned with women rights and there were many articles tackling women rights and equality between men and women (articles 19, 41, 55) The constitution of 1998 women rights only stated in chapter 1 of the general guidelines which does not implies law enforcement and so was the transitional constitution of 2005 which was distinct from other constitutions by containing the bills of rights although it does not contain CEDAW but Sudan had ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Humans and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.

Modes of Sudanese Women Political Participation:

Sudanese Women in Legislature:

Sudanese legislative institutions are the national assembly and council of states, the elected members in 2010 will serve for 5 years. There are 446 elected parliamentarians in the national assembly out of 450 seats; 114 of them are women elected through women lists presented by parties. Actually 112 seats were reserved for women but another 2 women won and increase women quota to 25.56%. Dr. Badria Suliman is heading legislative and law committee. The representation of women has increased from the democratically elected legislative institution in 1965 from 1 woman representing .4% to 77 women representing 17% in the appointed national assembly in 2007 to 25.56 % of women in the elected parliament in 2010. Quota system was necessary to ensure representation of women in legislations.

The Council of States composed of 2 representatives of each state, indirectly elected by state legislature, containing 50 seats. The total current members are 46, 5 of them are women representing 9.62%. The representation of women increased from 6% (2 women) in the council of 2005.

Women in Political Parties:

The first party which opens its membership for women was the Sudanese Communist Party in the fifties of the last century. Women participation in political parties were limited to women, social committees, Huge progress happened in the participation of women in the party structures, now they occupy positions in the executive committees, political secretaries and we find that Dr. Mariam Elsadig, is the Vice President of National Umma Party. The first woman heading a political party in Sudan was Mrs. Hala Ahmed Abdelhaleem, Head of New Democratic Forces Movement in 2006.Now a days we had 3 women heading political parties, after the split in New Democratic Forces Movement in 2010, Mrs. Hala conserve her seat as a head of Modern Democratic Forces Movement, and Ms. Neimat Abubakr was elected by the leading council as a head of New Democratic Forces Movement. The third woman is Ms. Mayada Swar Eldahab, Head of Liberal Party. Yet the membership of women in political parties is very limited, studies regarding women in political parties are very poor, and here by I found a census of women membership in political parties from 1994 states that only 11 % of Umma and Democratic Unionist parties membership are women.

Women in the Executive Authority:

Along the post-independence history; women only occupy the Ministries of Health and Social Welfare as a minister or state minister. No woman at all had occupied the position of secretary general. Although they are occupying 51% of the labour force in federal ministries, 20 % of decision making positions at federal level and 29 % of decision making positions at states level (National Ministry of Labour Force and Administrative Reform, 2004). In 2006 the ministerial level positioning for women were 6.8% at federal ministries (2 women), 6.8% as country minister (6 women) and 16% at state ministries (20 women) (Sudanese Women Union Report 2006). Women occupy positions on diplomatic missions and ministry of foreign affairs since 1970 and upgraded till reached Minister In charge. The first woman ambassador was hired in 2000 and now there are 4 Sudanese ambassadors are women.

Women in the Judiciary:

Women hiring in the judiciary institutions have stopped since 1989. There were 6 higher court judges representing 5.6% and 31 general courts judges representing 26.3%.

Woman as Head of the State:

No women has rule Sudan yet, but fortunately Dr. Fatima Ahmed Abd Elmahmoud, the first Sudanese Minister was also the first Sudanese women combatting on head of state position on 2010 general elections. She was the 11th out of 12 candidates and scored 30,562 votes (.3%) representing Sudanese Socialist Democratic Union Party.

Obstacles that Hinder Sudanese Women Political Participation:

• Starting from the patriarchal culture of the society which is reflected on the social and economic situation of women ending by the offensive discriminatory laws and practices of the authoritarian ruling regime the obstacles that hinder Sudanese women from political participation is lying in between.

• Under authoritarian rule, political activities are held secretly and it is difficult for women to get involved in secret work due to norms and traditions.

• Legislature are unwilling to increase and empower women political participation and their attainment of political rights as well as social, cultural, civil and economic rights and utilizing Islamic religion to exploit and discriminate against women, Sudanese women up to date are controlled by their husbands and families by law. Personal status law act 1992 allow domestic violence and beating of wives and girls, legitimize child marriage from 10 years old, women labour rights are under the control of their husbands will and prohibit marriage without the permission of the woman guardian. Women rights also are perpetrated by Criminal Law act 1992 and State Public Order Laws as Act 1996 of Khartoum state which is mainly targeting women appearance and behavior. Due to the Transitional constitution of 2005 these laws had to be reformed but nothing happened and the status remains quo.

• The quality and Intensity of women political participation is also an obstacle, because of the fact that women represent their parties in the first place and not women, they do not fight for women rights and for better status and their participation in decision making process is usually nil and not real.

• Cultural and social norms confine politics to men and bind women with the domestic sphere (gender division of labour).

• Women do not own the social capital and the economic resources to advance their position or to participate in politics usually.

• Lack of training to women in political parties and the exclusion of women issues in their programs

• Political parties are targeting women as voter, not as actors and can play enormous role in politics.

• The media is playing an important role in erasing the modest women political participation, in Sudan women is rarely presented as politician in the media, even when they image a politician woman they impose their domestic roles and neglect their public activities. This false portrait ensure to the society the gender division of labour and express the vision of women never succeed if they are not mothers and wives although if they are politicians.

Efforts Done to Advance Women Political Participation:

• The efforts to advance women political participation started from the measures taken by women movement from the 1950’s to conserve women right to vote and continue till now in the struggle of national movements to achieve democracy.

• Many women are involved in the public activism within civil society organization. They are struggling to achieve gender equality and attain women’s rights. Civil society organizations and women with in political parties have struggled to advance women political participation by advancing the electoral system to include ‘ women list’ in the last general elections 2010. These efforts conserve 25% of parliament seats for women; although the struggle was to conserve 30% of the parliament seats (least proportion stated in Beijing Declaration).

• UNDP had implemented number of projects to advance women political participation and to educate them about the concepts of democracy, good governance and equity. They also had launched a forum for women in political parties.

• The enlightened elite of politician who choose women as head of political parties had changed the situation of women among these parties and also proof that woman can lead political actions and processes.

• Unfortunately most of these efforts and activities appear only during election time and stop immediately after the results.

Outcomes of these efforts:

• Sudanese women now are participating in all forms of politics. There is increasing awareness among politician women about women rights, democracy and governance. • The conservation of at least 25% of parliament seats for women is regarded a victory of Sudanese women.

• In the Sudanese national assembly, a woman is heading legislative committee (despite her political affiliations) which is also a victory for women as they could claim and be a part of constitution formulation process.

Recommendations:

• Achieving gender equality and attaining women rights rely on the first place on the democratic transformation of the society and state institutions, unless all the aspirations and dreams of women political participation can never be attained under this oppressive authoritarian regime. In the last months 100 activist were arrested by security personnel and subjected to torture (Amnesty International), no Sudanese family will encourage women to participate in politics because they will be endanger of being tortured.

• Civil society organizations along with political parties should give more intention to politician women and train them to defend women issues and human rights.

• Government and CSO’s should also advance women education and promote gender equality.

• It is very important for women to be involved in the formulation of permanent constitution of Sudan and ensure the statement of women rights beyond chapter one and the inclusion of the bills of rights.

• Form pressure groups and lobbies to ratify international treaties as CEDAW and ICCPR. Also to struggle against offensive and human rights violating laws as Personal Status Law Act 1992 and Criminal Law Act 1992.

• Media policy reform towards reflecting more positive image of women in politics and avoid stereotypes and the traditional image of women in general.

• Conserve a quota of at least 30% for women in all state institutions and leading positions.

• Encourage researches on the field of women political participation and related fields to attain the required information for advancing the women situation by getting a real picture of their current status.

• Work towards building secular state conserve equal rights for all citizens.

October 2011

References:

1. Geraint Parry, 1972, Participation in Politics, Manchester University Press, Great Britain, p3-14.

2. Abdalaal Mahasin, 2008, Sudanese Women in the Present and Future, Chapter 4, Ahfad University for Women Press, Sudan, p333.

3. Mahdi Samira, 2008, Sudanese Women in the Present and Future, Chapter 4, Ahfad University for Women Press, Sudan, p351.

4. Abdel Ghadir Badria, 2008, Sudanese Women in the Present and Future, Chapter 4, Ahfad University for Women Press, Sudan, p375.

5. Badri Balghis, 2008, Sudanese Women in the Present and Future, Chapter 4, Ahfad University for Women Press, Sudan, p375.

6. Mahgoub Nazik, 2004, Sudanese Women Political Participation, First Democratic Forum for Arab Women, Sana’a, Yemen, www. Sudanforall.org

7. Nawrani Tayseer, 2010, Sudanese Women Political Participation Challenges and Opportunities, Respect Sudanese Journal for Human Rights Culture and Issues of Cultural Diversity, 12th Issue, November 2010,www.Sudanfor all.org.

8. Badri Balghis, 2008, Sudanese Women Profile and Pathways to empowerment, annex, Ahfad University for Women Press, Sudan, p 197- 211.

9. Badri Hagga, 2002, Sudanese Women Movements, 2nd edition,Khartoum University Press, Sudan.

10.Electoral institute for Sustainability of Democracy in Africa, www.eisaorg

11.National Election Commission, Republic of Sudan, 2010 general elections results.

12.Arab Parliaments, UNDP database.