Political activist and campaigner for women’s rights who became the first female member of parliament in Sudan

The Sudanese feminist and political activist Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim, who has died aged 88, was a force of nature. To observe her in action was to be humbled by her indefatigability. In a country where the slightest of strays from social convention are frowned upon, she was a pioneer in the field of women’s rights, and, in 1965, became Sudan’s first female member of parliament after participating in a democratic movement that removed military rule.

Her political activism could not be separated from her feminism, and vice versa. She spent her early years challenging British colonial rule in Sudan and the postcolonial military government of Ibrahim Abboud, while also co-founding the Sudanese Women’s Union, which went on to campaign for and secure the right of women to vote, receive maternity pay and a pension.

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