Introduction of the Quota System in Sudan and its Impact on Women's Political Engagement

IDRC's Women's Rights and Citizenship (WRC) program initiative is supporting a body of comparative research on whether and how democracy and governance institutions are responding to women's rights and gender equality. This project will investigate issues and challenges surrounding women's participation in political decision-making, the judiciary and the public sector in Sudan. And, it will explore ways in which state institutions, political parties, civil society and kin-based social organizations can be influenced to advance women's choices and entitlements as citizens, through increased representation among other things.

Sudanese women have a long history of political engagement that can be traced back to British Colonial rule and beyond. Sudanese women gained the right to vote and hold office well before women many countries in the region. Until recently, however, their involvement in politics remained limited, influenced - both positively and negatively - by civil war, political instability, cultural conservatism and economic crisis. In the latest general election, a 25% women's quota was agreed upon and implemented.

This project will examine the political participation of women - especially young women - in Sudan. Researchers will look at the introduction of the quota system in the 2010 elections and its impact on women's engagement in politics both within political parties and in general. They will delineate the factors that positively and negatively affect women's participation in politics. And, they will examine political parties' use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the election campaign, and its impact on young people. The research results are expected to enhance the engagement of women, especially young women, in politics and public life.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

End Date

Sunday, September 1, 2013


24 months

IDRC Officer

de Boer, John

Total funding

CA$ 147,900


Sudan, North of Sahara, South of Sahara


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Balghis Badri


Ahfad University for Women

Institution Country


Institution Website