European & International News

Tunisia - Women stand firm for their equal rights

[Brussels, 15 August 2012] Thousands of women have taken to the streets once again in the capital of Tunisia to protest a backlash against women’s legal equality with men in place since 1956. The protest in Tunis on Monday brought together around 6000 people - mostly women - to call for respect of women’s rights in law and in practice. A draft constitution drawn up by the new government contains a stipulation that considers women to be ‘complementary to men’

The protestors carried banners reading: ‘Rise up women for your rights to be enshrined in the constitution’ and ‘Ghannouchi clear off, Tunisian women are strong’, referring to the country’s leader, Rachid Ghannouchi.

Activists are concerned that once approved, the new rules would lead to future setbacks. ‘Major retreats usually begin with one step’, said Ahlam Belhadj, who chairs the Democratic Women’s Association. ‘If we stay silent today, we will open the door to everything else and end up surprised by even more serious decisions,’ she said.

For more information, read the article publilshed in The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/14/tunisians-demand-protection-womens-rights

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