Sudanese Women and Post Referendum Issues
Sudanese women issues have been connected to complicated political, economic and social development in the country.
However, these issues will remain within human, constitutional and legal concern, especially under the alarming deterioration of womEn status regarding economic and social development at the national level.
The woman today is mostly subject to poverty and displacement due to constant internal conflicts. Sudanese women and post South Sudan secession issues was an initiative by the United Nations to develop women in collaboration with the Women and Gender Unit of the Institute for Development Studies and Research of the University of Khartoum.
The initiative was coincided with the need for finalizing a national move for rights including Sudanese women’s rights. Their experience proved that despite complexities that a constitutional recognition of their participation in public life and bearing burden of leadership is of paramount importance and affirms national effort to political, economic, cultural and social building.
A training coursed for media women organized by University of Khartoum had dealt with women’s issues in the Interim Constitution of 2005, gender, women status in forthcoming constitution and good governance.
Dr. Najwa Abdellatif Mohamed, of University of Khartoum, said the new constitution should establish a new concept for authorities, and authorities concerned should take into account the nature of Sudan, its area, cultural, ethnic, religious and gender diversity with regard to the question of power and wealth distribution; besides the values of freedom, consultation, democracy, justice, equality and peaceful rotation of power.
Some items of the constitution, she said expressed the concept of “the power of the people and equality among people”; positive discrimination for women. However, positive discrimination has become mere a “slogan” in the constitution.
Mathaba Haj Hassan, member of a committee on engendering the Constitution, member of Khartoum State Legislative Council, said the Republic of Sudan – according to the Constitution of 2005 – is a “decentralized state” that acknowledges diversity and the necessity for peaceful coexistence. However, the constitution always refers to acknowledging diversity and legislations confine diversity to ethnic, religious and cultural difference. On the contrary, diversity is of multi elements that cannot easily be specified or reach agreement on a common concept of diversity. A legislator tends to fail to lay down legislations reflecting the reality of diversity; therefore we find that reference to diversity in the constitution is theoretical and does not contribute to issuing people-friendly legislations.
By Haffiya Elyas, 01/10/2011