Third Arab foreign minister: Sudanese women "write history"

A new feminist achievement for Sudan in its march towards democracy after the appointment of four women ministers in the transitional government, most notably Asmaa Mohammed Abdullah, who received the post of foreign minister, in the first event of its kind in Sudan, and the third in the Arab countries.

The first foreign minister in the Arab world was Naha Bint Meknes from Mauritania, and the second, Fatima Fall Bint Asouina.

It is noteworthy that the Sudanese Foreign Minister, who was appointed on Thursday, was not among the first nominations submitted by the forces of freedom and change to Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdouk for the post.

But the latter's insistence on the need for equitable representation of women and the rest of Sudan's regions in the transitional government prevailed over Omar Qamaruddin, who was just around the corner.

 Who is the first foreign minister in Sudan?

Asmaa Mohammed Abdullah

According to her biography published in local Sudanese sources, she is one of the first Sudanese to join the diplomatic corps in the 1970s.

  Graduated in positions until she reached the level of "Minister Plenipotentiary". She served as deputy director of the Department of the Americas at the State Department. 

  She has also worked in a number of Sudanese embassies in countries including Norway, as well as in Sudanese diplomatic missions in Stockholm and Rabat

. Al-Bashir's regime expelled from the Foreign Ministry in 1990, under the "Separation for the Public Good" Act. In addition to the Secretary of State, the new cabinet included three other women ministers:

Intisar Zein Sghayoun, Minister of Higher Education

A Sudanese archaeologist, she is the author of the first doctoral thesis in her country, according to local sources talking about her autobiography.

 It contributed to the monitoring of more than 33 archaeological sites during its research in the civilizations of Sudan, including the kingdoms of Karma, Kush and Meroe.

Lina Sheikh Mahjoub, Minister of Labor and Social Development

Graduated from Ahfad University for Girls with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Development Studies from the University of Manchester, UK. 

One of the founders of Impact Hub Khartoum, part of a global network on entrepreneurship and community entrepreneurship.

Walaa Essam Al Boushi, Minister of Youth and Sports

A young Sudanese activist, an engineering graduate, has opposed the Sher system for several years. She worked in the public and private sector, civil society and a lot of voluntary initiatives.

She worked as a capacity building consultant for the Young Leaders Program at the Jisr Development Center. She was elected Chairperson of the East and Central Africa Advisory Board for the Fellowship of Young African Leaders. Former US President Barack Obama met with the "Mandela Fellowship for African Leaders" program in Washington, where she appealed to him to lift US sanctions on Sudan.

 It is noteworthy that the female lead in the transitional government in Sudan, also included Aisha Musa Al-Saeed and Raja Nicolas Abdul Masih as the first two women appointed to the Council of sovereignty in Sudan.

 A spokeswoman for the Professionals' Association, Hajja Fadel Karandis, said she was "somewhat pleased" with the female representation in the government of Sudan. She told us that "Sudanese women have been wronged a lot in the past political era, especially in the era of Bashir, but what is happening now contributes to restore confidence for Sudanese women, but we are still looking for the best." Feminist activist Marafie Al-Hassan expressed her satisfaction with the achievement of Sudanese women so far. "This is a first step," she told us. "We aspire for the better. We have an eye on the PLC and the rest of the transitional authority structures in Sudan." It is noteworthy that the constitutional document devoted 40 percent of the seats in the Legislative Council as a minimum for women.

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