from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – THE repealing of a law which governed women’s presence in public spaces has been welcomed as a big step forward for women’s rights in Sudan.
The repealed public order laws gave local police extensive powers to arrest any person, particularly targeting women for dancing at parties, vending on the streets and begging.
Many women were arbitrarily arrested, beaten and deprived of their rights to freedom of association and expression under this discriminatory law, according to human rights organisations.
“The repeal of the public order laws was long overdue,” said Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Seif Magango.
Magango said the transitional government must now ensure that the entire oppressive public order regime was abolished.
“This includes repealing the articles dictating women’s dress code that are still in the criminal law, disbanding the public order police and the dedicated courts, and abolishing flogging as a form of punishment,” the activist added.
Amnesty International called on the government of Sudan to go further and ratify important instruments related to women’s rights including the Maputo Protocol governing the rights of women in Africa, and the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
– CAJ News