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Young woman dressed in white becomes symbol of revolution in Sudan after leading mass protest

Category: Gender in the world 
2019-04-11

A mysterious young woman dressed in white has become the symbol of resistance against Sudan’s autocratic president Omar al-Bashir after she was seen leading a massive protest from the top of a car in Khartoum. As tens of thousands of people crowded the roads in front of the country’s military headquarters, the young revolutionary could be heard calling for an end to Bashir’s systematic oppression of women through Sharia law.

 

Speaking to CNN, photographer Lana Haroun said she was at the protest on Monday night when she took a picture of the woman that has since gone viral internationally.

 

“She was trying to give everyone hope and positive energy and she did it. She was representing all Sudanese women and girls and she inspired every woman and girl at the sit-in. She was telling the story of Sudanese women … she was perfect,” Haroun recalled.


According to interfaith educator Hind Makki, the young revolutionary’s garb appeared to be carefully chosen as “a callback to the clothing worn by our mothers & grandmothers in the ’60s, ’70s, & ’80s who dressed like this while they marched the streets demonstrating against previous military dictatorships.”

 

Bashir, who took power in Sudan with the help of Islamists in 1989, has faced rising protests since the government tripled the price of bread in December. According to Jehanne Henry, a representative of Human Rights Watch in Sudan, women have historically been deeply involved in the country’s political uprisings and movements.

 

“For many women this regime is synonymous with all types of repression,” said Henry. “It is not surprising that they are seeing this as an opportunity to change things that matter to them.”

 

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