Sudan's transitional authorities approved a law on November 28 to dismantle the regime of former President Omar al-Bashir and revoke a series of laws that used to regulate women's behaviour. The law passed during a joint meeting of Sudan's sovereign counsel and cabinet also dissolved former President Bashir's political party and confiscated all of his properties. Sudan is currently run by a joint military and civilian council. The civilian-led cabinet is headed by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok who took to Twitter to pay tribute to women.
I pay tribute to the women and youth of my country who have endured the atrocities that resulted from the implementation of this law.— Abdalla Hamdok (@SudanPMHamdok) November 29, 2019
The new law was passed in response to a key demand of the protest movement that helped overthrow Bashir's government back in April. While talking to an international media outlet, Aisha Musa, one of the two women on Sudan's new Sovereign Council said that the former regime focused on how women dressed and acted instead of focusing on the nation's education and healthcare. She further added that it is about time that all the corruption and ill-treatment of women of Sudan should stop. While the people celebrated in the streets of the capital Khartoum, al-Bashir's National Congress Party (NCP) criticised by calling it new 'illegal government', say reports. The party has also accused the authorities of trying to confiscate NCP properties to help tackle Sudan's economic crisis.
According to reports, the public order law was described as a blend of legal and moral prohibitions. The law gave authorities the power to control what women wore, with whom they spoke to and met, and any job they might hold. The law was also kept 'vague and open-ended' which left them open to exploitation as a social control tool by the authorities. Under the former regime, the laws were further deployed to impose conservative Islamic social codes. Prime Minister Hamdok reportedly called the rule an instrument of exploitation, humiliation, violation, aggression in the rights of citizens. Seif Magango of Amnesty International while praising the new law said that it is a big step forward for women's rights in Sudan. Magango further added that the transitional government now must ensure the entire oppressive public order regime is also abolished.