Sudan bans FGM, allows women to travel with children without permission as it breaks away from strict Islamist rules

Sudan has passed laws banning female genital mutilation (FGM) and allowing women to travel with their children without permission from any male relative.

Sudan's Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok

The Northern African country has also passed a law that allows non-Muslims to drink alcohol. They are now allowed to drink, import, and sell alcohol.

This is a reversal of almost 40 years of hardline Islamist policies which limited the freedom and rights of women and non-Muslims.

The new reforms come after long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir was ousted last year following protests.

Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari said told the media that “we [will] drop all the laws violating the human rights in Sudan.”

Meanwhile, the government has also scrapped public flogging.

Even though non-Muslim are now allowed to consume alcohol in private, Mr Abdulbari said the ban on Muslim drinking remains.

He added that non-Muslims could still be punished if they are caught drinking with Muslims.

According to the Minister, the government wants to protect the rights of the country’s non-Muslims, who constitute about 3% of the population.

“We are keen to demolish any kind of discrimination that was enacted by the old regime and to move toward equality of citizenship and a democratic transformation,” Sudan Tribune reports him as saying.

Sudan has practiced strict Islamist laws for several years. This brought about a long-running civil war which eventually led to independence for South Sudan, where the majority of people are Christian or follow traditional religions.

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