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Of those interviewed for this report, many also identified themselves as feminists or women’s rights activists.
The interviews were conducted confidentially in person or by telephone, most in Arabic without an interpreter, some in English.
It describes how women activists and human rights defenders face an array of abusive practices their male colleagues are less likely to have to contend with – from sexual violence to the deliberate efforts of security personnel to tar their reputations in ways that can cause lasting social and professional harm.
These abuses reflect, or are made worse by, the wider context of gender inequality in Sudanese society and the laws that institutionalize it.
They include teachers, students, journalists, lawyers, staff members of non-governmental organizations, and members of various political parties. Researchers did not canvas the full spectrum of grassroots activism.
However, in many cases, because of the sensitive nature of the abuse or substantial risk of further abuse, names and identifying details have been withheld or replaced with pseudonyms to protect the security of the interviewee.
The term “human rights defender” refers to an individual who works to promote and defend internationally-recognized human rights.
“Civil society” refers to all non-governmental institutions, organizations and individuals engaged in public affairs.
It does not attempt to document all patterns of gender-based violence in Sudan.
The women interviewed for this report were asked to describe their experience in as much detail as possible.