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Sudanese Women's League

Christine Cynn

Subject Economic Systems » Socialist Systems
History » Women's History

Place Africa » Northern Africa

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics education, equality, revolution, wages

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01424.x


The Sudanese Women's League (Rabitat al-Nisa’ al-Sudaniyyat) was founded in 1946 by women members of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) in Omdurman, a city on the western bank of the Nile River, across from Khartoum. Founded primarily by middle-class urban women under Dr. Khalda Zahir as president and Fatima Talib as secretary, the League sought to improve the economic and social status of women through focusing on education. The League organized literacy classes, taught sewing and home economics, and gave lectures on women's social problems and health. It also opened a nursery, which eventually became a primary school for girls. The League restricted membership to the educated–a tiny minority of the population–and its activities were limited mostly to the urban north. The organization's development reflected ongoing political and class struggles on the national level, in particular around anti-colonial nationalism. In 1947, some of the League's members left to join the Jamiyat Taruiyat al-Mar'a (Society for the Promotion of Women), which sought to advance the interests of the landowning elites from the Mahdi family. In 1952, three members of the League and members of the Sudanese Communist Party founded Itihad el-Nisai (the Sudanese Women's Union, or Women's Union) as part of a broad-based unionization movement among workers, teachers, and peasants. Although the Women's Union succeeded ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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