A Sudanese journalist, Lubna Hussein, faces forty lashes if found guilty of breaking the country’s indecency law that forbids women from wearing pants and other articles of clothing deemed inappropriate.
The 43-year-old Hussein was arrested along with 12 other women in a July 3rd raid on a popular cafe in Khartoum, Sudan. Around 100 supporters, most of them women, some clad in trousers, protested the unfair law outside of the courthouse, prompting violent crowd-control tactics by the public order police.
According to the AP: “The 1991 indecency law was adopted by Sudan’s Islamic regime which came to power after a coup led by President Omar al-Bashir in 1989. It follows a strict interpretation of Islamic law that imposes physical punishment on ‘those who commit an indecent act that violates public morale; or who dress indecently.’”
Hussein says that the law is not only “an insult to human dignity”, but that it is not supported by Islamic text.
Hussein also held a job in the U.N.’s public information office up until the start of the trial, at which point she resigned, forfeiting her right to immunity in order to challenge the law. The U.N., however, has not faltered to provide her with support. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Sudanese authorities to not flog Hussein, as the act is “cruel, inhuman, and degrading”.
Although many Third World countries are making great strides to improve the rights of women, there is still much work to be done. Although this issue pales in comparison to other atrocities committed against females, such as female genital mutilation, it highlights the things that still need to be worked on. Lubna Hussein is reaching out to the world for support. By giving her that support, not only are we showing the women of Sudan that we care about their plight, but we are also inspiring more women to take up the cause of equality.http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090804/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_sudan_women_flogged;_ylt=Anpe.G01.QOEFm5KpWEqtIqs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTM4NnQ3MGhyBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkwODA0L21sX3N1ZGFuX3dvbWVuX2Zsb2dnZWQEY3BvcwM1BHBvcwMyBHB0A2hvbWVfY29rZQRzZWMDeW5faGVhZGxpbmVfbGlzdARzbGsDcG9saWNlYmVhdHdv