“Nothing has been done to meet women’s demands,” said Zeineb Badreddine.

Sudanese women were at the forefront of the protests that toppled autocrat Omar al-Bashir but 11 months on, activists are disappointed at a lack of progress on women’s issues.

“Nothing has been done to meet women’s demands,” said Zeineb Badreddine.

An activist involved from the start of the protest movement that ended Bashir’s three-decade rule last April, Badreddine will lead a demonstration in front of the Justice Ministry on Sunday to mark International Women’s Day.

Almost 30 years after being fired under Bashir for her “progressive ideas”, she has also returned to teaching.

But despite the toppling of the Islamist regime, she says the new government lacks female representation.

When Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok formed his government in September, he vowed to improve the situation for women despite the country’s economic and social difficulties.

He allocated four of 17 ministerial positions to women, including the key foreign affairs portfolio. A woman was also named head of the judiciary.

But the country’s top authority, the joint civilian and military Sovereign Council charged with overseeing the transition to civilian rule, only has two female members out of 11.

“If women had better representation, they would have more voices to defend their cause,” said Badreddine.

Under the Islamist regime, a notorious “public order” law was used to have women publicly flogged or imprisoned for “indecent” dress or for drinking alcohol, seen as “indecent and immoral acts”.

Hamdok’s government last November revoked the legislation — but many other discriminatory laws remain in place.


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