Implementing Gender Quotas: Spotlight on Sudan
Implementing Quotas
Women in Politics
Quotas 101
Sudan's Women's Movement
Women in Sudan's Peace Building Process
Sudan's 2008 Electoral Law
Implications of the Electoral Law
Implementing Quotas
What Can We Expect in Sudan?
Lessons Learned From Other Countries

The Quotas will be implemented in Sudan at three levels: by the government, by political parties and by non-governmental organizations (NGOs).


The government is tasked with coordinating the elections through the National Election Commission (NEC). This body is responsible for the administration, conduct and supervision of national and regional elections in the country. There are several challenges that the NEC faces including:

  •  A short timeframe: According to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the elections were originally scheduled for July 2009. However, the process of facilitating the elections was delayed by a number of factors, such as the slow appointment of NEC members. Unable to follow through with this timeframe, on April 3, 2009 the NEC decided to postpone the elections to February 2010.[1]
  • Delineating constituencies and demarcating the North and South divide: In order to delineate constituencies to determine the number of seats for each district, the government conducted a census from April 22-May 6, 2008. It was the first all-inclusive census for people of southern Sudan since Sudan became independent in January 1956. Conducting the census was delayed due to a number of political and logistical difficulties.[2] As of April 1, 2009, the results of the census have not been released.
  • Creating a complex ballot: Voters will be asked to cast ballots in six elections for the presidency of Sudan, the presidency of Southern Sudan, the national assembly, the Southern Sudan legislative assembly and governors and legislative assemblies in all of the country's 25 states. For voters in the South, this means voting on 12 different ballots.[3]
  • Implementing safe, free and fair elections in a post-conflict area: security challenges are conflated by a weakened state infrastructure.


Political Parties will have to prepare candidate lists and choose women to support for the separate women’s electoral list. There are several challenges that political parties including:

  • Civic and voter education: The coming election is the first for many   Sudanese who lack information on how to vote.  
  • Women have been historically underrepresented in political parties and as voters. This is an added burden for small political parties that cannot afford necessary registration fees, campaign costs, and adequate voter education.
  • Low literacy rates: The adult male literacy rate in Sudan is 71.1%, compared to women’s 51.8%.[4]  



NGOs will supplement state and political parties’ efforts to register voters, and prepare voters for the upcoming challenges but there are several political and logistical challenges including:

Government interference: International donors were supporting NGOs in Sudan with candidate training programs, voter and Election Day preparation programs. However, since the ICC indictment of President Al-Bashir, the government has expelled UN workers, and foreign NGOs from Sudan.  International donors have given money for conducting a national census and creating electoral registration lists, however approval for additional aid that has been pledged for election procedures has been stalled by the national government.[5]


[1]Sudan Delays General Elections to February 2010.” Sudan Tribune. April 3, 2009.

[2]Results of Sudan’s Census Expected to be Released by mid February.” Sudan Tribune. January 23, 2009.

[3] “US Conference Spotlights Sudan 2009 Elections.” Sudan Tribune. September 20, 2008.

[5] “US Conference Spotlights Sudan 2009 Elections.” Sudan Tribune. September 20, 2008.