Tunisia’s revolution started in December 2010 and sparked a wave of uprisings across the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. During the uprising women vigorously participated. Despite targeted sexual harassment and rape – often by police forces – they organized at grassroots level, participated in the protests and were active in cyber activism. Tunisia's revolution has secured increased freedom. However, a lot of work remains to be done on issues of violence, political representation or equal pay and opportunity.
Women are systematically sidelined in decision making processes. While female representation in Parliament tops 30 percent, which is high compared to the pre-revolution era, women remain almost absent from the leadership at local level. The new Constitution declares that the state needs to ensure equality between men and women, but till now they did not take all appropriate measures to end violence against women. Currently, the Secretary of State for Women Affairs, along with several civil society organizations, is leading a process of harmonizing the Tunisian legal framework with the Constitution and with international instruments ratified by Tunisia for the protection of women’s rights. There are already some improvements; since very recently women in Tunisia have the right to travel with their children without the authorization of the father.
Despite political assassinations and social unrest Tunisia keeps showing signs of positive change. Tunisian women activists remained strong in their advocacy & loud in their demands. A major achievement is that the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet has been awarded the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize for its important role in establishing peace and stability in Tunisia. The Tunisian General Labor Union is one of the four civil society organisations of the Quartet, and a Women on the Frontline partner organisation.
Read here more about the latest developments in Tunisia