Women and the New Tunisia

Although Tunisia has slipped from the Western news agenda despite yesterday’s violence, it is heartening to see that one aspect is still attracting attention.

The newly-appointed Ambassador-at-Large on Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State, Melanne Verveer, visited Tunisia this week raising all the right points:

The objective again and again is to plead the cause of women, a call to action and to remember the role they played in the Arab revolution, if proof were needed of their ability to engage in politics.

Representing half of humanity, women can and should influence all decisions relating to political, economic and social. Especially in Tunisia, where they serve as (role)models and are distinguished by their high level of education, their integration into public life and dynamism.


Avec un objectif: plaider encore et toujours la cause des femmes, les appeler à agir, et rappeler le rôle qu’elles ont joué dans les révolutions arabes, preuve s’il en fallait de leur capacité à s’engager dans la vie politique. Représentant la moitié de l’humanité, les femmes peuvent et doivent peser sur l’ensemble des décisions relatives aux questions politiques, économiques et sociales. D’autant plus en Tunisie, où elles font figure de modèles et où elles se distinguent par leur haut niveau d’éducation, leur intégration dans la vie publique et leur dynamisme. [source]

Crucially, Verveer emphasized the importance of voting for, having given birth to the new country, they must fight for it:

To make the right choice, both women and men have the duty to inquire, to understand the election process and issues, and exercise their civil rights: to vote, vote and vote again […] even if only many for the first time! Keeping in mind that nothing is ever won.


Pour faire les bons choix, les femmes comme les hommes ont le devoir de s’informer, de comprendre le déroulement des élections et leurs enjeux, et d’exercer leurs droits civiques: voter, voter et encore voter… même si c’est pour beaucoup pour la première fois! En n’oubliant pas que rien n’est jamais acquis.

Opening her address with the words ‘woman is the future of man,’ it strikes as a timely reminder.

While in conversation with policy makers, NGOs and the media, I hope her poignant message filters down to the thugs behind yesterday’s events.

For just as woman is the future of man, thuggery will be the demise of the nation.

3 comments on “Women and the New Tunisia

  1. Haitham Al-Sheeshany
    May 8, 2011

    thanks for the read,
    u have been away! 🙂 🙂 WB

    • Layla
      May 8, 2011

      Afwan, Haitham! No, not so much away – just extra-hard at work on my book and preparations for (eek) presentations 🙂

      I shall try to reprise my role as a good, regular little blogger, though 😀

  2. Haitham Al-Sheeshany
    May 8, 2011

    awaiting 🙂

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This entry was posted on May 7, 2011 by in Tunisia, Womyn and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .
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