Google+ Followers

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Demonstrations for women’s rights in Tunisia

Tunisian women demonstrating for their rights
Thousands of Tunisians demonstrated today to protest against the changes they are worried could be imposed in the future Tunisian Constitution by the Islamist led parliament. Those changes could degrade the rights of the women in one of the most liberal Arab countries.

The protest was attended by nearly 6,000 people, mostly women. It was one of the decisive moments and the next step in the serie of discussions over the role of Islam and Sharia Law in the future Constitution and the new Tunisian society.

Tunisia is ruled by the moderate Islamist party Ennahda (The Renaissance), which was banned during the ruling of Tunisian ousted President Ben Ali. Ennahda is now under the pressure of different powers. The hardline Muslims Salafis, from one hand, demand to impose the strict Islamic Law in the country, while the liberal forces, on the other hand, are protesting against such changes and opposing the Salafist movement.


Tunisian democratic and liberal activists are not satisfied with the stipulation in the current draft of the future country’ constitution, that the women are “complementary to men” and demand the full rights and equality for the women in the next Tunisian Constitution. The law granting the women the equal rights with the men was declared in the country in 1956, and the activists propose it to remain in power in the future.

The protesters today were marching with the banners and placards and chanting against the laws that could oppress the women in Tunisia. The people called on the Parliament and the Constitutional Assembly, formed by this parliament and tasked with the drafting of the new Constitution, to focus more on the basic issues which areimportant for the country at the current stage, such as unemployment, economic and social changes and the regional development.

The demonstration for the women’s rights was attended not only by the women, but by some men too, who are supporting the issue of the equal and full right for the women in the new Tunisian post-revolutionary society. The protesters claim they can not allow the Islamists to turn the Arab spring into the Islamist winter, and the problems like discussions about the equality of all the citizens in the country should not even appear in the democratic country.

The moderate islamist party Ennahda won the majority of the seat in the Tunisian parliament and rule the country since October. The representatives of the party promised they will not impose the strict Islamic Law in the future Constitution, and Tunisia will remain liberal country and will head to democracy and development. Ennahda dominated also the Constituent Assembly and formed later the government of the country in a coalition with the two liberal and secular parties.

The Ennahda representatives claim the draft of the future Constitution doesn’t represent a backwards step for Tunisian women, because it only stipulates the sharing of roles in the society, but it doesn’t mean the women worth less then men. But Tunisian democratic activists and a lot of women are concerned about the issue of the women’s rights in the future Constitution to be written by the islamist led Assembly. The protesters stressed they will not allow to degrade the women’s status in Tunisia and demanded the equal rights in the state’s main document.