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Sudan Tribune

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Sudan’s ruling FFC say committed to strong female representation in parliament

Women massively participated in nationwide protests of 30 June 2019 (Photo Reuters)
Women massively participated in nationwide protests of 30 June 2019 (Photo Reuters)

September 16, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) have reaffirmed their commitment to secure 40% of parliament seats for women, considering it as “an absolute and irreversible necessity.”

“The 40% of women’s participation in the transitional parliament “has become part of the constitutional document, and cannot be undone,” said Munzir Abu al-Maali an FFC leading member, in statements to the Sudan Tribune.

He deplored the weal women’s participation in the government and described it as “unconvincing” but pointed out the possibility of addressing the issue by granting the two remaining ministries of livestock and infrastructure to women from the Blue Nile State and eastern Sudan states.

The transitional government allocated four ministerial portfolios for women: foreign affairs, higher education, sports and social development.

Female activists believe that women representation in Hamdok’s cabinet is not fair given the significant role played by Sudanese women during the months of the revolution that toppled the former regime.

Prime minister spoke on more than one occasion of his keenness to repair this injustice and to appoint more women in senior leadership positions. He further pointed out that one of the reasons for the delay of the government’s formation was to allow more feminist faces to take important ministerial seats.

Furthermore, he hinted that a woman may be appointed as the governor of Khartoum State.

It is expected that women demand an important role in the legislative chamber to compensate for the weak representation in the executive institutions.

Abul Maali projected that women would demand to increase their share of political participation in the parliament to 50%.

Tahani Abbas, an activist of the No to Women’s Oppression Initiative, told Sudan Tribune that women’s participation by 40% is a partial victory but it is not enough.

“We demand 50% to achieve the wishes and aspirations of women significantly,” Tahani stressed.

She further pointed out that Sudanese women are eager for their participation at all levels in the Sovereign Council, government and legislative power, especially as the legislative councils are closely linked to the population in the regions and rural areas.

“We hope that the Forces of Freedom and Change will remain committed to the participation of women by 40% of the seats of the Legislative Council,” she said.

For his part, another FFC leading member, Sati’ah al-Haj, told the Sudan Tribune that it is too early to speak about the selection criteria for the Legislative Council, adding that the technical committees on the issue did not yet start its work.

But he reassured that women would get their share at all levels of government for their enormous sacrifices over the past years.

In the same vein, FFC leading female member and researcher, Mervat Hamad al-Nile, reiterated to the “Sudan Tribune”, that the ruling coalition is committed to the 40% women representation in the Legislative Council.

She noted the women from all the different regions will be represented in the Legislative Council.

On August 21, Abdallah Hamdok, sworn in as prime minister of the transitional government which will lead the country during the 39-month transitional period before free and fair elections.

The Sudanese hope that the transitional period would allow laying solid foundations for peace, justice, and democratic transition.