Violations within the Context of the Sudanese Constitution and Culture:

- Displacement

Sudanese Constitution

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Violations within the Context of the Sudanese Constitution and Culture:


The extent of rape as a human rights violation must also be examined in the context of the Sudanese constitution and with regard to the role of culture. The Government of the Sudan declared Islam as the main religion in Article 1of the constitution. Often it is assumed that in Islam the women do not play a significant role, not having access to a number of rights. The question is whether the rape on the women of Darfur is therefore justified, seeing that the Janjaweed is largely made up of Islamic men. Assuming that this assumption has certain validity, the Janjaweed as well as government may not see the rape as a distinct crime, whereas in a national and international context it is. However, even through culture, the violations also expose legal consequences. This is seen through the Islamic Sharia law, which makes pregnancy out of “wedlock” illegal. Through rape many women in Darfur have become pregnant, bringing numerous social consequences as the women are shunned and voted out of their communities. There seems to be a clear clash between cultures, and the battle of power between these is reflected in the rape of the women of Darfur. In many ways this violence consequently goes against the country’s constitution and the rights which the state grants to protect. So the perception of the government and Janjaweed through the Islamic culture completely contradicts what the government established in the constitution. Article 21“The state shall… liberate women from injustices in all aspects of life” exposes this potential contradiction to the culture which is so explicitly defined through religion by Article 1. The State has not protected this right which the women of Darfur should have access to. Furthermore, the fundamental right to liberty and security, Article 20 has been violated as the women are being tortured and held as sex slaves. The Article grants that no one should be degraded or tortured. Yet through the government not acting against such tortures, it is breaking its constitution. It is interesting to note that in the constitution only one Article concentrates on the protection of women. Hence, the question rises whether the rape and the violence against women in Darfur are consequently considered matters to which only a limited amount of attention should be devoted. Therefore, in both a cultural context and that of the Sudanese constitution, it is clear that human rights are being violated in Darfur.