Sudan repeals law that restricted how women dress, act in public

Sudan this week repealed a public order law that restricted women’s behavior under former President Omar al-Bashir.

The law, which was accompanied by a decision to dissolve Bashir’s political party, overturned the order that implemented strict Islamic social codes that limited women’s freedom of dress, movement, association, work and study, according to Reuters. Those found to have violated the law could be flogged as punishment.

“The decision to abolish the public order law is a culmination of the courageous struggles of women for 30 years,” women’s rights activist Hadia Hasaballah told Reuters. “Women martyrs deserve it.” 


The two measures passed Thursday came in response to demands from the protest movement that helped topple Bashir in April. Their implementation will be a critical measure of how transitional authorities will handle dismantling the lasting effects of the former strongman’s three-decade tenure.

“I reiterate our commitment to reinforce the important role of women & youth, who have greatly contributed to the success of this glorious revolution, in the rebuilding of Sudan & we are committed to paving the way for them by removing all historic, social and legal obstacles,” Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok tweeted. 

Hamdok’s government was crafted in September in a power-sharing deal with anti-Bashir groups and the Transitional Military Council. His government will rule for just over three years before elections are held.

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