More than 30 Sudanese women’s organizations have issued a statement denouncing the Sudanese government for intentionally disrupting this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations. On March 8, authorities denied permission to hold an event to mark the annual event, stating that the groups required “additional authorization“.
Organizers had notified authorities more than 2 weeks prior to the proposed event. The event has been an annually held for eight years in Khartoum.
Fahima Hashim, Director of the Salmmah Women’s Resource Centre, described the move as a ‘delaying tactic’ and suggested that the larger size of this year’s event, may have been a factor in government disapproval.
The statement calls the governments action’s clear examples of human rights violations which limit the freedom of association of Sudanese women and replicate the systemic discrimination Sudanese women face on a daily basis. It goes on to note how the cancellation of the event is a larger reflection of the current devaluation of individual liberties and women’s rights in Sudan.
The Nobel Women’s Initiative, in partnership with the Salmmah Centre and other Sudanese civil society groups, has repeatedly called attention to gender oppression and discriminatory laws.The Survivors Speak Out Report, written by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, highlights the wave of militarized sexual violence and the pervasiveness of rape in the country. The report notes that those who speak out against the atrocities often face imprisonment and risk the security and well-being of survivors.
The statement also explains that women’s organizations will not be deterred by government objections, calling for, ” women every year to be the pioneers in deepening the values of participation and voluntary work as well as establishing human rights in general and women and girl`s rights in particular. ”
Read the full statement here
“Women’s day event denied permission in Sudan“, Al-Jazeera, March 9, 2014.
“Sudan security blocks International Women’s Day celebrations“, Sudan Tribune, March 9, 2014.
“Women’s Day event denied permission in Sudan“, Mail & Guardian, March 9, 2014.