In Sudan, family laws are formed and applied by the religious communities - Islamic, Christian and traditional African beliefs -creating a gendered citizenship that has led to the absence of 'equality before the law' not only between men and women in general but also between Sudanese women across religious and tribal affiliations. In contrast to the general literature on women's rights and Sudan, which focuses on Islamic family law exclusively, this paper conducts a comparative study of the competing perceptions of women's civil rights (such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, maintenance and financial custody of children, and alimony) among the elites of communities following both sharia and traditional law in Khartoum. The findings suggest that traditional law provides fewer civil rights for women than Islamic family law. Both northern and southern elite women interviewed for this study are continuously contesting, redefining and renegotiating their rights in an attempt to change family law from within through the impetus generated by international law. The paper argues that the two groups' discursive strategies to reform prevailing family law within the context of an Islamic state are qualitatively diverse and constructed quite separately. This is largely due to their complex relationship with the state and the fact that the sharia is structurally open to reinterpretation by ijtihad while traditional law is not.
Citizenship, statelessness, and human rights protection in Sudan's constitutions and post South Sudan secession challenges
Constitution-making and Human Rights in the Sudans
Counter-mobilization against child marriage reform in Africa
Ragnhild L. Muriaas, Liv Tønnessen, Vibeke Wang
Political Studies, first published online: December 1, 2017
Interventions for the abandonment of child marriage in Sudan
Liv Tønnessen and Samia al-Nagar
Når kan kvoteringsordninger for kvinner i politikken fjernes?
Review of the realisation of Norway’s “Strategy for intensifying international efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilation for the period 2014–2017”
The Monkey Cage at the Washington Post: Why Campaigns to Stop Child Marriage Can Backfire
Ragnhild L. Muriaas, University of Bergen, Vibeke Wang, Chr. Michelsen Institute, Lindsay Benstead, Portland State University, Boniface Dulani, University of Malawi, Lise Rakner, University of Bergen/Chr. Michelsen Institute