Imagine lawfully being allowed to get married by the time you turn eleven years old. Imagine marital rape not being recognised by the government. Marital rape remains one form of sexual violence that is shrouded in silence. In Sudan, the Sexual Offences Act does not prohibit or criminalize forced sex within marriage. Spousal rape has been explicitly exempted in section 43 (5) which provide ‘with regards to claims of sexual abuse such as rape it shall not apply in respect of persons who are lawful married to each other.
Noura Hussein. A 19 year old Sudanese who has been sentenced to death for killing her rapist in self-defence. Upon turning 16, she has been a victim of child marriage, forced marriage and marital rape. With refusal to consummate the marriage (that her Father organised and forced her into), her husband rapist got two of his brothers and a male cousin to help rape her. When he tried to rape her the following morning, she stabbed him to death.
Noura’s reality is the reality of several women in Sudan and the other parts of Africa. She is also a victim of the Sudanese law, that allows children above 10 to be married. Noura’s story has sparked outrage worldwide. Several activists around the world have created the campaign ‘Justice For Noura’ to help address and fight the systematically oppression that women face due to the patriarchal society they live in.
Three young women, Hala Ibrahim, Hodan Sharif and Lina Gubara organised a peaceful protest for Noura on May 19th in Nairobi. They worked together to raise awareness for Noura’s case and others in the same situation. With the creation of the hashtags #JusticeForNoura and #MoreThanNoura, they were able to organise a peaceful protest primarily with the use of social media(Instagram and Whatsapp).