7 March 2019
SOLIDARITY WITH THE WOMEN OF SUDAN
As the world celebrates International Women History Day on March 8, The Human Rights Task Force of the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies (AMEWS), an affiliate of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), stands in solidarity with the women of Sudan, who have been at the forefront of the protests that started December 2018 and continue to this date. While Sudanese women and men initially protested the rise of the prices of basic commodities, such as bread and gas, protestors now demand an end to the rule of the National Congress Party (NCP). The NCP has been in power for the last three decades, during which the majority of the people of Sudan have faced oppression, militarization, and social, economic and political exclusion. The regime in power has been particularly oppressive and violent toward women and girls in all parts of Sudan, including through rape as a tool of war, and through its infamous ‘Public Order’ and criminal law provisions that restricted women’s freedom of movement and imposed a dress code on women. The regime particularly targeted low-income women such as street vendors, and women in historically marginalized areas of Sudan such as Darfur, Southern Kordofan, and the Blue Nile.
Women in Sudan continue to lead and to protest despite the regime’s use of excessive force, sexual violence against women and other forms of torture. Detainees include key figures in the women’s movement. Associations and Movements from across the Middle East, Africa, and globally, including the Middle East Studies Association of North America and the African Studies Association of North America, in addition to over twenty organizations from across the Middle East and Africa, have condemned this violence. In January 2019, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also condemned the Sudan regime’s excessive use of force against detainees and has asked that the regime respects its people’s rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
Sudanese protestors have marked March 7 as a day to recognize and celebrate the bravery and heroism of Sudanese women. We take this opportunity to express our support for the rights of all Sudanese, especially women and men to peaceful assembly and protest, and we honor their dreams and aspirations for social, economic, and political change and social justice, gender equality, freedom, prosperity, and human rights. And we call for the immediate release of all detainees, especially women and academics. The African Studies Association has issued a statement concerning freedom of expression in Sudan; and twenty-two African and Middle Eastern human rights associations issued a statement condemning the use of force against protestors.
Please read the following petition and sign if you agree with the content:
The AMEWS Human Rights Task Force
Nancy Gallagher, Chair, University of California, Santa Barbara
Sondra Hale, University of California, Los Angeles
Nadje Al-Ali, Brown University
Anita Fabos, IDCE Clark University
Hind Ahmed Zaki, Harvard University
Angie Abdelmonem, Arizona State University