EXCLUSIVE: Tunisia celebrates Women’s Day, Kais Saied’s homage to artisans

Tunisia celebrated Women’s Day on Friday, August 13. On this occasion, the President of the Republic, Kais Saied, went to Cité Hlel, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the capital Tunis. During his visit, the Head of State met and paid homage to some women craftsmen in ceramics. “It is not just about ensuring that women’s rights are respected.” The Tunisian President explained, pledging to defend the socio-economic rights of these women and improve their working conditions as soon as possible so that this critical period that the North African country is going through ends.

The Tunisian Association of Democratic Women, recalling the 65th anniversary of the Personal Status Code promulgated on August 13, 1957, called for legislative reforms relating to individual freedoms and equality between men and women. This code must evolve, the association estimates, particularly regarding the family’s leadership, the dowry, the attribution of the surname, and the inheritance. The association also stressed in a statement received by the Arab Post the importance of President Saied respecting the principle of horizontal and vertical equality during the formation of the next government and the need to facilitate women’s access to decision-making positions.

August 13 of each year has become an important date and the emblem of attachment to an open and progressive Tunisian identity in total divergence with political Islam, represented by Ennahdha. During a summer evening, on August 12, 2012, a prominent women demonstration in the main capital streets attacked the “troika government” led by the Islamists at the time. Women took the streets chanting “the Tunisian woman is not Mehrzia,” referring to the late Mehrzia Labidi, deputy Nahdhaoui, at the time vice-president of the Constituent Assembly.

The Tunisian people have repeatedly rejected the thesis defended by the Islamists on the “complementarity between women and men,” invoking total “equality between the two sexes.” In conjunction with the protest movement following the assassination of MP Mohamed Brahmi, the commemoration of August 13, 2013, was an opportunity to see women demonstrating in the streets dressed in the national flag. The last important celebration on the occasion of August 13 was made in 2018 when President Béji Caid Essebsi, following the report of the COLIBE commission on individual freedoms, which he set up a year earlier, committed to presenting a bill on equal rights of succession between the two sexes.

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