Fahima Hashim is the Director of Salmmah Women’s Resource Center in Khartoum, Sudan. One of Fahima’s greatest characteristics is that she challenges all taboos for the greater cause of human rights, and specifically equal rights of women. Fahima confronts all of the sexist, racist, and anti-human rights laws in Sudan. With a daring stamina, Fahima went against her Muslim faith, and social stigma, to adopt her 3-year old daughter as a single mother.
Since 1997 Fahima has worked with many great woman advocates in Sudan to abolish The Public Order Laws—oppressive morality laws that condone heavy punishment when they are disobeyed. This is only one example of her hard work and activism to make a difference for her women peers.
Since 2003, Fahima has not ceased to advocate for an end to the war in Darfur, and a comprehensive peace agreement in the region. Through the renowned Salmmah Women’s Resource Center, Fahima rallies all women’s groups and members of civil society to organize a movement of Woman Against War. She has achieved recognition from many warring parties that her movement is apolitical, aims to achieve real peace to end the conflict, and aims to make women’s voices for peace heard.
But of course the greatest challenge that she faces is the non-democratic, oppressive ruling regime in Sudan. The regime has denied Fahima permission to conduct advocacy campaigns, and in June 2014 closed Salmmah Women’s Resource Center. Personally, Fahima has endured incredible harassment and risks to her safety as a result of her work. However, Fahima continues to push forward despite the obstacles the regime puts in her path.
Fahima is one of the many courageous women that the international community must know. The international community must work together to put pressure on the oppressive regime in Sudan to stop persecuting and harassing the strong women, like Fahima, defending human rights and setting examples of peace, justice and equality in war-torn Sudan.
Maha joined us in Ottawa for the 2014 Sister-to-Sister Mentorship Program. She completed six weeks of communications and advocacy training alongside two young women activists from Guatemala and South Sudan. Maha is now continuing her work to defend women’s rights in Sudan.