Sudan on Thursday repealed a law used under former President Omar al-Bashir to regulate women’s dress and behavior and punish those found to contravene it with flogging, Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdelbari said.
Under Bashir, the public order law was deployed to impose conservative Islamic social codes, restricting women’s freedom of dress, movement, association, work and study.
This could include preventing women from wearing trousers or leaving their hair uncovered in public, or mixing with men other than their husbands or an immediate relative.
Those found to have contravened the law could be punished with flogging. Hamdok called the rules “an instrument of exploitation, humiliation, violation, aggression on the rights of citizens.”
Women played a prominent role in months of protests against Bashir.
Women’s rights activist Hadia Hasaballah said the repeal of the law showed the failure of Islamist ideology.
“The decision to abolish the public order law is a culmination of the courageous struggles of women for 30 years,” she told reporters. “Women martyrs deserve it.”
The law was deployed to impose conservative Islamic social codes, restricting women’s freedom of dress, movement, association, work and study. It had been widely criticized by local and international human rights groups.