As we celebrate the International Day for Ending Violence Against Women and WHRDs Day during the 16 days of activism to End Violence Against Women, we salute the courageous Sudanese women fighting for freedom and equality. We stand in solidarity with their struggle for democratic change, justice and peace.
ISHR regrets that Sudan refuses to accept the recommendation related to the opening of civic space and to defend freedom of expression and assembly, as well as the protection of these rights in all circumstances, especially in the context of the transition:
“We urge Sudan to immediately end the targeting of women human rights defenders and protect their right to advocate and promote women and human rights”, said Salma El Hosseiny, Human Rights Council Program Manager at ISHR, during the joint intervention.
On the other hand, the Sudanese delegation highlighted during its presentation the legislative ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and the United Nations Convention against Torture. Also, in the context of international cooperation, the Government of Sudan said that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Office of the Prosecutor of the Criminal Court.
However, several speakers from States and NGOs, including Sierra Leone, Action Canada Defenders and ISHR, regretted that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (CRMW) have not yet been ratified.
ISHR noted Sudan’s acceptance of recommendations such as moving forward with the formation of the Commission for Women and Gender Equality and other legal reforms. But highlighted that it remains of major importance to ratify CEDAW and its optional protocol without reservations and that the country has refused to repeal the provisions on male guardianship and wife obedience.
On this last point, Sudan responded, referring to the exceptions to the accepted recommendations, that these are related to the country’s traditions and culture.
ISHR will continue to urge Sudan to comply with the recommendations on women’s rights and women human rights defenders which include, among others:
- Access to justice: guaranteeing victims, especially victims of sexual violence, judicial protection, and an end to impunity for the military and militias, as well as the security forces.
- Guaranteeing the rights to freedom of assembly and association: Sudan must end the targeting of women human rights defenders and accelerate the reform of the military and security forces and ensure civilian control.
- Continued international cooperation and the progress of reforms to guarantee women’s rights: By repealing forms of discrimination including the security laws, the RSF laws and the Muslim Personal Law of 1991.