Report by: Alula Berhe Kidani
The protests against the ratification of CEDAW is unjustifiable as CEDAW i is in line completely with the noble values of Islam, said the prominent layer and civil society activist Ms. Samia El Hashmi. Then added that all the countries of the world except three have ratified CEDAW including some main Arab Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordon, Egypt, and the articles that these countries had reservations on were not similar which mean that the issue of religion was not the reason for the reservations otherwise all of them would have agreed on the articles that some claim are against religion.
Then the activists added that some here have raised objections against Article 2 of the agreement on the protest that this is against Islam. This article call for the abolishing all forms of discrimination against women, do they want laws that legalize discrimination against women and in addition this article coincide with constitutional principle that rights and duties are based on citizenship and not gender or any anything ales.
Also, Advocate Al Hashmi pointed to that there are also illogical allegations against article 16 which gives equal rights in marriage and divorce based on the principle of mutual consent, do this advocate want girls to be forced to marriage without their consent, and does the Islamic Sharia allow girls to married by force or without their consent. This is because Islam is against injustice and discrimination. She pointed that the courts in Sudan have the right to dissolve any marriage if it proved that it was without the girl consent.
Then went further to point to that CEDAW guarantee justice, equality and non-discrimination for girls and women and who represent 50 percent of the people and so can never be against the real noble religious values.
Also, Ms. Samia expressed amazements about the allegations that CEDAW aim to undermine the society morals and commented that we have not heard or read that any of the countries that have ratified CEDAW have enacted laws that allow the marriage of Lesbians or same sex marriage, so this are pure allegation for political and religious concerns.
In addition Advocate Al Hashmi said that these same clauses are also included in the Convention of the Right of the Child and which Sudan have signed and ratified since 1990 without any reservation. So, what is new unless the real issue is political and has nothing to do with religion and CEDAW? Same time represent the prevalent masculine culture that closed by religious slogans and tradition which have nothing to do with the real issue.
Then added that the ex-Minister of Justice of the ousted regime have pledged in front of the Council of Human Rights of the United Nations in the session convened in 2018 that Sudan will ratify CEDAW. So, the issue now that women rights have been polemicized, those supporting the government are with CEDAW and those against it are using the agreement as tool in their campaign against the government.
She refuted the claim that the transitional government doesn’t have the right to ratify the agreement by that this right is granted to the government by the Constitutional Document. Also, the Document has called upon the government to ratify all conventions relating to human rights.
The activist affirmed that CEDAW will be ratified because the Minister of Justice have affirmed this in the last meeting of the UN Human Rights Council, and added that our role as civil society now is rise awareness about CEDAW to the highest degree possible.
In the end Ms. Samia to demonstrate the contradictions of the present protestors listed some of the statements made by the ousted regime high and prominent officials.
State Minister at the Ministry of Justice, Neimat Al-Huwairis said in the parliament, “Sudan is moving to sign the CEDAW agreement with reservations on some items,”.
Parliamentarian Amin Hassan Omer said that Sudan’s refusal to sign some of the treaties makes it contrary to what has been a broad agreement between countries, adding, “Despite the disagreement on the agreement, but it was accepted for political considerations”.
Widad Yagoub, Minister of Social Security and Development, stressed the need to pay attention to signing international conventions on women and children “as long as it is in the interest of Sudanese women, children and citizens,” adding that Sudan has some reservations to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
Qamar Habbani, Secretary of the Women’s Secretariat of the National Congress Party called, in an interview with the newspaper “Al-Mijhar” to sign the said agreement.
A number of commentators pointed out that the State Minister of the Ministry of Justice in the former regime, Neimat Al-Huwairis, told the parliament that “Sudan is moving to sign the CEDAW agreement with reservation on some items, and that the Ministry of Justice has recommended this to the Council of Ministers.