Sudan’s female anti-coup protesters fear loss of freedom under army rule

Sudanese women are rallying once more to defend rights gained since the ousting of former dictator Omar al-Bashir, reports Fred Harter

Wednesday 17 November 2021 15:59 GMT
A woman chants slogans during a protest in Khartoum, Sudan
A woman chants slogans during a protest in Khartoum, Sudan (AP)

Asmaa Ismail heard of last month’s coup in Sudan when her flatmate woke her up at 6.30am with news that the prime minister had been arrested. She got dressed and went outside to join her neighbours, who were already protesting against the military takeover.

Asmaa, 35, said: “I’ve been demonstrating since I was a teenager. This coup is a betrayal of our fight for freedom, democracy and women’s rights and we’re determined to resist it.”

Women were at the forefront of the protests in Khartoum that ousted longstanding dictator Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. Viral images of a young woman clad in white spurring on crowds came to embody the spirit of the movement, as did chants of, “This revolution is a women’s revolution”.

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