Our Statement of Solidarity is also available in Arabic: بيان مشترك للتضامن والدعوة للعمل ودعم السودانيين
The Musawah movement, the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa and fellow human rights activists (NAGAAD Network – Somali and Somaliland and Islamic Relief Development Agency – South Sudan) are concerned about the escalating violence and instability in Sudan.
We are deeply concerned about the violence being targeted at civilians protesting against authoritarian rule. We are appalled by the gendered violence perpetrated against women and specifically sexual violence perpetrated against women who exercise their right to peaceful protest since the military coup in late 2021. The UN confirmed deaths and gang rape of women by Sudanese security forces as well as the brutal use of sexual violence as a weapon of conflict across Sudan and specifically in Darfur confirms our worst fears about the state and future of women in Sudan.
The vacuum of civilian authority, the violent crackdown on disssent by security forces and the return of a militant discourse using Islam as a source of authority causes us deep concern as we believe Sudanese women are facing the return of an even more misogynistic, violent and authoritarian rule, despite all their efforts and sacrifices in overthrowing a 30-year dictatorship.
We express our solidarity with the Sudanese people who never fail to inspire us with their courage and capacity to express the collective will for freedom and civilian governance. As Muslim feminist organisations and leaders in the global struggle for gender justice and equality in the global Muslim community, we know and hold in high esteem the role of Sudanese women as leaders, organisers, and supporters of the movement against any form of militarised and authoritarian rule.
Sudanese women are the first and most impacted by an intersecting web of harm that has been playing out in Sudan. Not only have they had to endure 30 years of a brutal militarised Islamist rule, multiple coup attempts, the most recent collapse of the economy and gendered violence due to patriarchal interpretations of tradition, religion and a state tool of silencing dissent but also the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic adding to the relentless obstacles to a thriving and safe life.
We are concerned by the specific targeting of activists and in particular women human rights defenders who have been arrested and harmed by military and security forces. We pray for the safety of all those protesting for a life free of violence and oppression.
We jointly call for the following:
- The international community, the United Nations and regional bodies such as the African Union, to pay due attention to the deteriorating situation in Sudan and put pressure on the military regime to cease its violent crackdown and use of weapons, live ammunition, sexual violence and torture against peaceful protestors, holding all perpetrators to account.
- The international community and the UN to exert all pressure on politicians and military leaders to restore democratic and civic rule centring women and the diverse sectors of Sudanese society at every stage of the process.
- Women’s movements globally and all those fighting for the right to a life free from violence and oppression to lobby their governments and write to/email their political representatives urging action that centres the needs of and partners with Sudanese women and people.
- International media, journalists, and campaigners to continue to give space and platforms for women’s rights advocates leading the resistance movement on the ground to share their experiences, and document what is happening in Sudan holding perpetrators and the powerful to account.
Musawah is the global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family.