Sudan: Mission on Rights of Women, 2003


The mission of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa is the first one ever undertaken by a Special Rapporteur of the Commission to Sudan. By carrying out this mission, the Special Rapporteure aimed at establishing a close relationship with that State Party to the African Charter through dialogue with the Authorities and civil society organisations, especially Women's organisations, on issues pertaining to the rights of Women in Sudan. 


To the Government of Sudan

  1. Submit and present its overdue State Reports to the African Commission, providing enough information on the situation of the rights of Women in the country;
  2. Ensure that the application of Sharia Law is in conformity with international regulations relative to Women's Rights in Sudan;
  3. Ensure that Sharia law is not imposed on non-Muslim Women;
  4. To ensure that the laws, notably the Code de la Famille (Family Law), is in conformity with the international regulations relative to Women's Rights;
  5. Ensure that the right to the freedom of worship is respected in Sudan;
  6. Establish a partnership with NGOs working in field of Women's Rights for the exchange of views, given the diversity and divergences of opinion noted by the mission while discussing with Government Authorities and NGOs;
  7. Take action with a view to abolishing the death penalty, given that it has not been enforced in the country for a long time;
  8. Eliminate the discriminatory practice compelling Women to present authorisation from their husbands before travelling abroad;
  9. Ensure the equal and indiscriminate access of men and Women to employment;
  10. Encourage and provide financial assistance to NGOs working in the field of the fight against FGM;
  11. Create a specific programme for the dissemination of the fundamental rights of Women in Sudan;
  12. In collaboration with Women's Associations, elaborate policies aimed at eliminating all forms of discriminatory practices and raising awareness among Women and combating all harmful habits, practices and traditional beliefs ;
  13. Integrate in the existing Action Plan for the promotion of Women's Affairs, a holistic perspective which will take into account the participation of civil society organizations, in particular Women's Organizations;
  14. Put in place mechanisms for collaboration with civil society including Women's Organizations, in policies and strategies relative to the development of Women's Affairs;
  15. Establish a system for the monitoring and evaluation of this Action Plan with the assistance of NGOs and other civil society organizations;
  16. Introduce a system for the coordination of the activities of Governmental institutions in the area of promotion and protection of women's Rights in Sudan;
  17. To put in place a Working Group composed of Government Institutions including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and NGOs working in the field of Women's Rights with a view to elaborating and implementing a general policy on gender;
  18. Ensure greater access to education for the poplations living in the South and free education for all children including girls; s) Institute corrective and positive measures in the field of girls' education at both the primary and secondary levels;
  19. Compile statistics on violence against Women;
  20. Draw up a national programme for the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS;
  21. Develop, together with Women's Associations, policies aimed at raising awareness among Women and fighting against all traditionally harmful habits, practices and beliefs;
  22. Continue and speed up the process of ratification of relevant human rights instruments, including the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the Protocol on the Establishment of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, the CEDAW, etc;
  23. Allocate adequate resources for the Prisons, especially the Women's Prison of Khartoum in order to improve the conditions of detention in the country;
  24. Develop more legal assistance for prisoners, especially for Women prisoners;
  25. Reflect seriously on and to find a solution to the problem posed by the maintenance in custody of the prisoners who have served their sentence but do not have money to pay their fine. This may be done by amending the laws;

To the Women's Human Rights NGOs:

  1. Work closely with the Government of Sudan in order to ensure the promotion and the protection of Women's Rights in the country. NGOs should also actively participate by networking, in the promotion and the protection of the rights of Women at regional and continental levels;
  2. Maintain close contact with the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, particularly with the Special Rapporteure on the Rights of Women in Africa so as to inform them about the new developments occurring in the area of the rights of Women in Sudan;
  3. Pay more attention to the situation of Women in detention so as to provide them, to the extent possible, with legal and other assistance in order to lessen the burden of their detention;
  4. Use the Communication (Complaint) procedure available at the African Commission in order to seek redress for human rights violations, should the need arise;
  5. Lobby the Government for the ratification of all pending human rights instruments, in particular the CEDAW and the Protocol on the Rights of Women when it is adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union.