Sudanese women march in Khartoum to mark International Day for Eliminating Violence against Women, in the first such rally held in the northeast African country in decades, on November 25, 2019. (Ashraf Shazly / AFP via Getty Images)

Sudan Bans Ousted Leader’s Party, Repeals Restrictions on Women’s Rights

The transitional government in Sudan passed a law Thursday dissolving the formerly ruling National Congress Party and repealed a “public order law” that regulated women’s behavior, Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdelbari said. Protesters, led by the Sudanese Professionals Association, who helped overthrow the regime of ex-president Omar al-Bashir had been demanding both changes. Bashir’s Islamist government took power in a 1989 coup. “It is an important step on the path to building a democratic civilian state,” the Sudanese Professionals Association said in a statement. Writing on Twitter, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said that the measure was aimed at preserving the “dignity of the Sudanese people.” Hamdok’s government was formed in September after a power-sharing deal between anti-Bashir groups and the Transitional Military Council that ruled the country immediately after Bashir’s overthrow. The repealed public order law imposed conservative Islamic standards, restricting women’s freedom of dress, movement, association, work and study. Violations were punished with flogging. Hamdok called the rules “an instrument of exploitation, humiliation, violation, aggression on the rights of citizens.”

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