Fatima Ibrahim – Courtesy of moralheroes.org
CAIRO - 13 August 2017: The first woman parliamentarian in Africa and the Middle East, Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim, died at the age of 84 in London on August 12.
Ibrahim was born in Khartoum in 1933. The women’s rights pioneer began her fight for women rights after launching Omdurman Girl’s Secondary School and later established a wall newspaper called ‘Alra’ida,’or ‘Girls Pioneers’ whose sole purpose was to raise awareness about women's rights and women empowerment.
Her activism went beyond raising awareness. In 1947, Ibrahim founded the Intellectual Women Association and later expanded her horizon by establishing the first Union of Sudanese Women in 1952.
By the mid 50s, Ibrahim joined the Sudan Communist Party (SCP). She became a prominent advocate of women empowerment when she became the first woman to be elected as a member of parliament in developing countries, the Middle East and Africa in 1965 subsequent to the collapse of the Abud regime.
After major disputes took place between the ruling regime of Gaafar al-Nimeri party, who was in power from 1969 to 1985, and SCP leading to an alleged coup, SCP leaders were executed. Amongst them was Ibrahim’s husband al-Shafei Ahmed al-Sheikh in 1971.
In 1991, Ibrahim was nominated president of the Women's International Democratic Federation. The UN honored her activism in human rights and awarded her in 1993. In 2006, Ibrahim won the Ibn Rushd Prize for her constant impact on women’s rights and social justice in Sudan and the greater Arab world.
Ibrahim is also an author of two published books ‘Our Path to Emancipation’ and ‘Our Harvest in Twenty Years.’