The ‘Arab Spring’ is a nuanced phenomenon of significance to African democracy and women’s rights in Sudan – north and south. Political transformation processes underway in postrevolution Arab states simultaneously give voice to human rights advocates and rise to Islamist political groups. The reverberating trend presents a risk of deepening Islamist governance in Sudan and reinforcing patriarchal patterns of kinship in South Sudan. It also offers opportunity, north and south, for Sudanese women to form a common agenda, engage politically, promote a vibrant civil society, challenge human rights violations and develop a voice through participation. Given the Islamist upsurge in the region, a review of literature highlights what women in post-revolution Arab states have reported back in terms of the effect the popular uprisings have had on their rights. In light of the outcomes, approaches are advanced that will strengthen Sudanese women’s movements and better position them to exploit opportunity for progress in the period of political transformation on the horizon in Sudan and South Sudan.

Author Biography

Leah Sherwood, is Research Associate at the Institute for International and Civil Security (IICS), University of Science, Technology and Research, Abou Dhabi, UAE.