Photo: Karolina Sturén / Kvinna till Kvinna

Kvinna till Kvinna in Tunisia

Kvinna till Kvinna has supported women’s rights in Tunisia since 2016. During the Jasmin revolution, Tunisians marched to end years of one-party rule. In the atmosphere of hope that followed, former women’s rights organisations resumed their activities and new ones were built. Since then, civil society has been at the forefront of promoting human rights and democracy. Today, we strengthen and support fledgling organisations.

Why we work in Tunisia

After Tunisia’s independence in 1956, the country positioned itself as a stronghold for women’s rights in the region. New laws gave women the right to vote and run for office, required their consent to marriage and ensured equal access to divorce. Reforms were so extensive that some observers talked of “state feminism.”

Today however, conservatism and socio-economic constraints still hinder women’s access to justice, public service and politics. This is particularly true beyond the major cities and in poorer neighborhoods.

In recent years, Tunisia has also experienced an economic decline. Women are over-represented in statistics of poverty and unemployment.

Politically, they are fairly well represented: women hold 35% of parliamentary seats and 47% of municipal council seats. Still, not a single party is headed by a woman and four out of five mayors are men.

Optimistically, the Jasmin revolution opened new opportunities to confront problems such as gender-based violence.

In 2017, after hard work by the women’s movement, Tunisia adopted a law to comprehensively address the matter. Victims now have specific rights and rapists no longer receive impunity for marrying their victim. Still, much work remains to ensure the law is fully implemented.

Members of our Tunisian partner organisation. Photo: Aswat Nissa

How we support women in Tunisia

Together with our partner organisation Aswat Nissa, we:

  • strengthen women politicians’ capacities (leadership, campaigning, governance)
  • promote gender mainstreaming in the security sector
  • advocate for the adoption of a national plan on UNSC res 1325
  • raise awareness of gender-based violence, particularly among youth, the media and religious leaders
  • consolidate the role of women in Tunisia’s democratic transition

We established an office in Tunis in 2018. We are currently mapping potential partners in the country. The result will be published in late 2018 in a new country strategy.

Women elected in local elections

Our partner Aswat Nissa runs a Political Academy to develop the skills of young women candidates from across the political spectrum. In the 2018 local elections, thirteen Political Academy graduates from different social backgrounds were elected to power.

Photo: Karolina Sturén / Kvinna till Kvinna

Our partner organisation in Tunisia

  • Our Tunisian partner organisation is called Aswat Nissa (Voices of Women)
  • Aswat Nissa was founded in 2011
  • The organisation strengthens women’s participation in politics and public life
  • Its expertise includes gender mainstreaming in public policies

Sarra Ben Saïd, Fathia, Fida Saidani, Sonia Ben Miled and Julia Taos Tortel of Aswat Nissa. Photo: Karolina Sturén/Kvinna till Kvinna

News about our work in Tunisia