Research and Publications

Sudanese Women, Digital Revolution and Backlash

Sudan’s political and security instability, coupled with its patriarchal social system, puts women and girls in great danger in both physical and online worlds. The 2019 revolution has put Sudanese female activists and journalists at the forefront of the turmoil, subjecting them to great violence on many digital platforms.

This study surveys 83 Sudanese women of various backgrounds and geographies and interviews ten experts with backgrounds in violence against women, activism, journalism, and development work. It explores the extent of digital violence against women (DVAW) in Sudan; its forms, drivers, harms, and impact on the women’s lives; as well as potential solutions.

Findings from this study align with existing, albeit limited research showing that the majority of Sudanese women are subject to at least one form of DVAW because of their gender. Facebook and WhatsApp were the platforms where most DVAW incidents occurred. Common forms of violence include sexual harassment, unwanted advances, and defamation. Recommendations from study participants include more support at the legal, technical, and psychosocial levels, as well as national campaigns to raise awareness, especially in educational institutions.