Trying to Change the Law

From AP

Women protesting at the trial. Image from AP

Today was the trial for Sudanese journalist  Lubna Hussein, one of the women I reported on earlier who were arrested for wearing trousers in public. Most of the women received a flogging, but Hussein and two others elected to have a public trial in the hopes of raising awareness about the oppressiveness of the laws and to try to change them.

According to the AP:

“In an attempt to rally support, Hussein printed invitations to diplomats, international media, and activists to attend her trial which opened last week. She also resigned from her job in the U.N.’s public information office in Khartoum, declining the immunity that went along with the job to challenge the law.

Around 100 supporters, including many women in trousers as well as others in traditional dress, protested outside the court Tuesday.

Witnesses said police wielding batons beat up one of Hussein’s lawyers, Manal Awad Khogali, while keeping media and cameras at bay. No injuries were immediately reported.

‘We are here to protest against this law that oppresses women and debases them,’ said one of the protesters, Amal Habani, a female columnist for the daily Ajraas Al Hurria, or Bells of Freedom in Arabic.

While the police broke up the demonstration outside the Khartoum Criminal Court, the judge adjourned Hussein’s trial for a month to clarify whether her resignation has been accepted by the United Nations.”

How every brave of her and the other women. I hope their efforts won’t be in vain.

Also, as I said in my previous post: while this isn’t directly “street harassment” per say, a lot of discussion about street harassment ends up touching upon “what was she wearing” so I think this story is relevant from that aspect. Also, street harassment can be viewed as a kind of social control that keeps a lot of women off the streets at night and/or when they are alone and this incident in Sudan shows blatant and extreme forms of attempted social control over women.


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