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Tunisia Makes Strides for Women’s Rights in the Arab World

Women's RightsTunisia has long been recognized for its progressive attitude toward women. The country is seen as a pioneer for women’s rights in the Arab world; however, most Tunisian women still lead a life of much abuse and harassment.

Strides were made last week when Parliament passed a measure barring violence against women in Tunisia. This makes such violence easier to prosecute and penalizes sexual harassment in public spaces. In addition, it calls for the training of police and judges on how to handle such domestic abuse.

Tunisia has already pioneered legal action against this harassment, and this new measure demonstrates that the country is continuing to make progress. Tunisia is addressing not only the physical violence but also the psychological distress and economic discrimination that comes with domestic abuse.

These laws provide women with the tools for protection. With this landmark step for women’s rights in the Arab world, it becomes up to Tunisian authorities to gather adequate funding and political action to translate legislation into genuine protection.

Tunisia paints a picture of progress for women’s rights that all countries should replicate. By extending to more indirect forms of harassment, such as psychological and economic abuse, Tunisia is bringing awareness to less explicit but key elements of domestic violence.

The law also addresses preventative measures and survivor assistance. It directs the Health Ministry to provide training for medical staff on how to identify and prevent domestic abuse as well as requires the assistance of domestic abuse survivors through legal, medical and mental health support.

These measures portray an effort for development and sustainability by Tunisia, as they look beyond just the violence and extend to prevention and assistance. Tunisia presents an opportunity for major progress not only in its own culture but also across the globe.

By taking action against this cultural issue, Tunisia proves its commitment to the progression of women’s rights and sets a standard for other nations to follow.

Tucker Hallowell

Photo: Flickr