Published at Elephant Media’s The Tusk Blog
Late last year, public outcry in the streets, homes, and social media feeds of Sudan followed the implementation of several unpopular economic policy decisions. Reminiscent of many earlier moments in Sudanese history, the loudest voices condemning the government have been distinctly female. As women all over the world now march against Donald Trump and his inane policies, Sudanese women look on with a knowing familiarity.
Liberation of the exchange rate by the Sudanese government in early November closed the threefold gap between the official Sudanese Pound-to-Dollar rate and existing devalued black market prices. Prices immediately spiked, most notably for fuel, electricity and medicines. The drug price surge became the most common rallying cry, and the anger was compounded by the feeling that the government had been intentionally mismanaging its budget.
As small scale demonstrations spread throughout the country, people started to take notice when groups of young women, using social media, organized demonstrations in various locations throughout the greater Khartoum area.
Starting around November 16th, large female-only Facebook groups suddenly became organizing spaces. This occurred primarily on one group known as Fasikh w Jalikh. These groups are perceived to be confined to conversation surrounding beauty and skincare treatments, and are often ridiculed by the general public, as women-centric spaces often are.
However, this was not the first time such groups had become politicized. Similar discussions had sprouted up surrounding earlier protests at the University of Khartoum, when several young women were arrested. This time around, the young women began to plan their own peaceful protests on major streets throughout the capital.
(Keep reading here.)