Sudan

Sudan’s prominent Communist woman dies at 84

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August 12, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – The veteran Sudanese communist and feminist leader Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim died at the age of 84 in London on Saturday morning.

In Khartoum, the opposition Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) leadership met to decide on arrangements for flying her body from Britain. Hundreds of mourners flocked to her home in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman upon hearing the news.

Several political parties and armed movements have mourned the late Communist leader pointing to her long struggle for women’s rights and democracy.

Also, the Sudanese Presidency mourned Fatima’s passing describing her as a pioneering figure in the political, parliamentary and feminist work in Sudan and at the regional and international levels.

Further President Omer al-Bashir directed to transport to Khartoum her body at government expense and to organise an official funeral for her as a national figure who served her country with sincerity and devotion.

Fatima is said to have been born in Khartoum in 1933. Her grandfather was one of the pioneer headmasters in Sudan, while her mother attended formal schools under the British colonial authorities.

She founded the Union of Sudanese Women in 1952. She joined the Communist party in the mid-50s. She was a vocal opponent of the then military regime of Gen. Ibrahim Abud that ruled Sudan between1958-64. She became a member of parliament in 1965 following the collapse of the Abud regime the previous year.

In 1969, Fatima married Al-Shafei Ahmed al-Sheikh, who was then one of the country’s prominent trade unionists. In 1971, her husband was arrested and later executed by Numiri’s regime over an alleged coup plot.

Fatima was held under house arrest for two and half years and for the next two decades remained a target of subsequent authoritarian governments.

In 1990, she fled to exile in the UK where she continued with her human rights efforts.

She won a UN award in 1993 for her human rights campaigns. She returned home in 2005. The following year she won the Ibn Rushd Prize for her struggle for women’s rights and social justice in Sudan and the greater Arab world.

Fatima has published two books – “Our Path to Emancipation” and “Our Harvest in Twenty Years”.

(ST)

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