This article explores the pathways of political action pursued by the Sudanese women’s movement leading up to the introduction of a women’s quota in 2008 and its implementation in the most recent 2010 national parliamentary elections, the country’s first in 24 years.
The article argues that the main achievement of the quota was the extent to which it mobilised women to engage in politics, rather than the increased representation of women in parliament. The form the quota took however, has not significantly challenged political parties to put forth women candidates in core geographic constituencies, restricting them instead to separate women’s lists. The need for revisiting the quota, healing divisions within the women’s movement and negotiating a robust common programme in the next phase are all critical for translating numbers into positive changes in Sudanese women’s lives.
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 41.5 (2010) The Sudanese Women’s Movement and the Mobilisation for the 2008 Legislative Quota and its Aftermath