Statement On the prevention of celebrating the International Women Day

The Sudanese civil society organizations conventionally celebrate the International Women Day on the 8th of March every year through many events to commemorate and promote the role of the Sudanese women in the society by organizing activities that demonstrate the various issues which reflect women`s contributions to improving their conditions and achieving social and gender justice from their different positions.

This year, after the extensive arrangements carried out by more than 30 organizations, including the formation of committees and designing the programmes and activities which had been planned to be held at the Nubian Club on that day, and which included following-up the procedures of getting police and security permissions a long with the early preparations for the entre details of the celebration which reflected the solidarity among women and the power of collective action, and depicted the organizational skills of each organizing group.

However, in the morning of the celebration day, when those organizations gathered in front of the Nubian Club in Khartoum, they were shocked by the officials of the club notifying their assembly that the celebration had been prohibited by the Security Services, at a time when the organizations requested the permission for the celebration on 19th February 2014, that is, before more than two weeks from the fixed date.

Despite the extensive and early preparations to bring success to the Day, the inhibition of the celebration through disapproval neither disheartened the women nor disrupted their attitudes towards the situation, and there were remedy plans to avoid any losses for the women who worked on preparing even the least details such as the provision of water and meals, etc. in a manner that reflects the fact of solidarity as a value of the humanitarian action.

The organizing committee considers that:

The procedure was in violation of human rights and the freedom of association and expression, and in line with the violations experienced by the Sudanese women on daily basis in terms of their political, social, economic, cultural, legal rights, and it reflects the reality of the human rights situation in Sudan.

We as organizations:

Denounce the taken action, and sustain our constitutional right to organize and exercise our activities as we deem appropriate, including the celebration of the International Women’s Day within the framework of the constitutional right of institutions and individuals guaranteed by international and regional charters and covenants.

All the attempts of foiling the event by rejecting to grant the approval have not disheartened women from demonstrating the solidarity values of the civil society and its durability to celebrate their achievements as well as their continued resistance to all forms of prevention and intervention.  The initiatives of civil society in reviving the values of collective action will remain among the most important messages that it is working to convey in powerful and renewable manner… This is our belief in the values of the humanitarian action and in recognition of that civil society`s power exists in solidarity.

May women every year be the pioneers in deepening the values of participation and voluntary work as well as establishing human rights in general and women and girl`s rights in particular. The Organizing Committee for the civil society organizations` celebration of the International Women World Day

March 8, 2014.