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Sudanese women ready to ‘break taboos’ and run for office

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Sudanese women ready to ‘break taboos’ and run for office

UN News
2 July 2020
By: 
Demonstrators take to the streets in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum on 11 April 2019,
UN Sudan/Ayman Suliman
Demonstrators take to the streets in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum on 11 April 2019,

Since the 2019 Sudan protests, which ushered in a transitional government, and the promise of more rights, over a thousand women have felt emboldened to enter politics in a bid to enact lasting democratic change.

Much has already changed for women since the protests: laws restricting freedom of dress, movement and work were repealed, and female genital mutilation was criminalized.

The transitional constitution guarantees 40 per cent representation in the parliamentary body the Transitional Legislative Council, which translates to 120 seats. However, with a history of limited female participation in the country, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) launched a programme aimed at identifying Sudan’s future political leaders, and training potential candidates.

Over a six-week period, UNDP officials visited 110 cities, villages and camps for internally displaced people, identifying 1,070 women, two-thirds under the age of 40, willing to represent their communities. This success has prompted UNDP to expand the project, supporting women to secure other national and state-level representation, and key government posts.

Read the stories of the candidates, and find out more about the challenges and opportunities for women in Sudanese politics, here.