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Sudanese Women Gain Independence after New Reforms

Sudan will permit non-Muslims to consume alcohol and strengthen women’s rights, including banning female genital mutilation (FGM), its justice minister said over the weekend, in a reversal of almost four decades of hardline Islamist policies. Women will also no longer need a permit from male members of their families to travel with their children. About 3% of Sudan’s population is non-Muslim, according to the United Nations. Alcoholic drinks have been banned since former President Jaafar Nimeiri introduced Islamic law in 1983, throwing bottles of whisky into the Nile in the capital Khartoum. The transition government which took over after autocrat Omar al-Bashir was toppled last year has vowed to lead Sudan to democracy, end discrimination and make peace with rebels.