Here’s a question: what is the only cross-party parliamentary caucus in the National Legislature of Sudan?
Answer: the Women’s Caucus, a body comprised of all 82 female members of the upper and lower parliamentary houses, who hail from a diverse range of regional, ethnic, religious, and political communities.
As you might imagine, the National Legislature of Sudan is nothing near an example of bipartisan harmony. But the Women’s Caucus has managed to cross party lines and forge partnerships between erstwhile enemies in the name of political progress for all of Sudan. Even when the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, one of the two signatories to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended Sudan’s North-South civil war, suspended their participation in the governing coalition, the women’s caucus continued to meet.
This example of bipartisan cooperation is a testament to the crucial role that women should and must play in peace building and good governance efforts around the world. Sudan’s National Legislature, and undoubtedly Sudanese citizens from Juba to El Fasher to Khartoum, are all better off thanks to the collaboration of Sudan’s female parliamentarians. Hats off to these women for doing their part to forge a peaceful future for all of Sudan.
Read more about the Women’s Caucus in this excellent article from the Governance Village blog.
Photo of Jemma Kumba, a former member of parliament in Sudan’s Natonal Assembly and currently Sudan’s only female state governor. Kumba is Governor of Western Equatoria State in southern Sudan.