When Sudanese female attorneys recollect their first visit to Khartoum’s family court. They recall sensations of apprehension, worry, and rage. Not wrath, but righteous anger at the magnitude of the constitutional breaches they saw.
Gender equality is guaranteed under the Sudanese constitution. However, “personal status rules” control areas such as marriage, custody battle, and childcare. The rule requires a woman to submit to her husband.
Women and girls also require male caretakers, who need to be family members and have extensive influence over their life, including the legal ability to consent to matrimony on their name. As a result, in Sudan, a girl as young as ten years old can marry.
The attorneys wrestled with how to effectively argue for the women they defended in such a profoundly patriarchal judicial system.
But these tenacious legal brains refused to give up. Under the SORD, they are pushing out change through coordinated methods.
These SORD attorneys are currently located in four locations around the country. They’ve studied the legal opinions to deploy to win their clients alimony, custody agreements, and court costs.
Many of the customers are sufferers of underage marriages and other forms of trauma. They enlighten the judges and speak to their compassion. Though the court is not always on their favor, they use every other resource at their fingertips to get positive outcome.