Sudanese Women’s Votes
Without doubt, the statistics of Sudan’s elections will be pored over and debated at length, and the interpretation of every figure will be open to dispute. But there seems to be one consistent feature across the country. Women were the majority of the voters. This was most striking in Darfurian IDP camps, where registration levels were often low, and where some reports are that three quarters or even more of the voters were women. But in cities and villages across the nation, according to the people I have spoken with, women voted at least in equal numbers to men, and usually considerably more.
I don’t know if this is because women are more civic minded, more committed to democracy and civil politics, or have a longer-term view of political developments and so are less easily swayed by day-to-day events. Perhaps the women’s list, which will deliver 25% of the members in every elected legislature, has encouraged more women to vote.
But the consequence is that, whoever stands for election in Sudan in the future, will have to bear in mind that she or he will be elected principally by the votes of women. I wonder what effect this will have on future election campaigns, on the composition of party leadership, and on Sudanese political life in general.