Tunisian Women Putting the Work In, Getting Results!

by Intern Candice

Big changes for women are happening in the Middle East right now! Tunisia, who has been a leader for women’s rights in that region, have a new electoral system in the works. This means that in the months to come, the women of Tunisia may just get a chance to vote and run as candidates along side the men. In April, the electoral commission established to make rules for the upcoming October assembly elections. Political parties are to alternate men and women on their lists from top to bottom and the electoral commission can reject a party that doesn’t agree with this.

And we all know that this is BIG news for women, of course! The post-revolution system would show how important it is to have women in government. Not only would the women be beneficial to the big time government decision making, but having them in office would create a better democracy. After all, even if this a man’s world, it would be nothing without a woman, right? But no government is perfect, and even with wonderful laws like this one, there are still other concerns and laws to think about and tackle. Laws like those dealing with inheritance matters, and more enforcement on the laws dealing with domestic abuse, family violence, and marital rape.

But, the changes are still rolling in over there,albeit, slowly. MANY political parties are popping up like daisies after the KO of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in office. This could mean bad things for the hard work of the Tunisian women’s rights activists. An example of this is the An-Nahda Islamist party who said in March that they would not support Tunisia’s discriminatory personal status laws that deal with matters such as marriage, divorce, custody, and inheritance.

But these strong women keep pushing on, writing up wish lists for an equal constitution and garnering some amazing results (hello women in assembly!). I’ll definitely be rooting for them.

Info and photo from Women’s E-News.

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