The Silence of Women

Lubna Ahmed Hussein (or Al-Hussein) is a well known female journalist living in Sudan. She writes a regular column entitled "Men Talk" in "Al-Sahafa" (i.e. “The Press”), one of most popular Arabic daily newspaper, and founded by her late husband Abdul Rahman Mukhtar in 1961. In her column she criticizes courageously the situations in Sudan as well as the orientations of the Sudanese sitting government and the militant fanatic Islamists alike.

Today, on July 29th, 2009, Lubna will face 40 lashes because she was wearing trousers. She and twelve other women wearing trousers were recently arrested in a restaurant in the capital, Khartoum. Ten of the women had pleaded guilty to the charges and had 10 lashes immediately even if several of them were from the mainly Christian and animist south, and in Sudan non-Muslims are not supposed to be subject to Islamic law, even in Khartoum and other parts of the mainly Muslim north.

In spite of that, Lubna was condemned to 40 lashes and to a 250 Sudanese pounds fine (about 74 euro). So, she posted the invitation to her friends and supporters to «stir up a scandal around her case». She said that «this is not a matter of a personal attack against me as a journalist, nor of preserving my personal dignity. Far from it … The issue has taken on a different character, [and I call] on the public to be [my] witness and [to judge for themselves whether this incident] is a disgrace for me or for the public order police. You will decide after hearing the charges and the prosecution witnesses, rather than [only] my side of the story».

This is a fact, but there is something worst about this story. If you search for Google about Lubna corporal punishment, you will soon realize that a deafening silence is fallen on this event by most women who has power in the world. Female politicians, entrepreneurs, journalists, professionals seem to ignore such a cruel sentence. No struggles, no demonstrations, no public declarations. Apart some comment on Facebook and some other social network, few blogs, and some on-line newspaper, the women universe is incredibly quiet about Lubna’s fate.

I am astonished, surprised, angry about that. Where are the rich and powerful women who always speak of equal opportunities and rights of women? Where are the politicians, the feminists, the female bloggers? I do not understand and, as a man, I feel ashamed for them too.

Latest news

The decision of a Sudanese judge in charge of Lubna Ahmed Hussein’s trial has postponed his decision to August 4th. It seems that Lubna refused to use her UN immunity in the trial, which she could have done, to save herself the lash.

So, women: you have a second chance to voice your disagreement and your protest. Please, use it!

Comments (1) to «The Silence of Women»

  1. Few hours ago I receive a message from Lubna by Facebook: «Lubna Ahmed Hussein: I am really honored by what you wrote Dario thank you».

    I feel honored by the fact that she wrote to me to thank me. What I did is nothing. What she is doing is all, it is an example for all women and men in world.

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