However, and in spite of some advances, legal inequalities persist between men and women, such as inequality in terms of inheritance, which brings a clear prejudice to women’s access to a full and complete citizenship. Moreover, if the Tunisian government’s recent ratification of the Facultative Protocol to the CEDAW represents a positive step forward, we insist on reminding that it is urgent for our government to lift the reserves emitted on this Convention so that, our legislation about women’s rights is no longer in contradiction—be it partial—with international conventions. The lifting of the reserves on the CEDAW is a necessary and decisive step to make in order to allow our legislation to head for a real equality of rights between men and women that would hinder obscurantist discourses.
Indeed, we also insist on expressing our concern as to women’s rights and status in our country. First of all, the globalization of the economy for which countries like ours are paying the highest price reinforces the jeopardizing of work and general unemployment and that of women in particular, which is an indirect questioning of their right to work.
Secondly, the different forms of violence women are victim of in the home sphere in the shape of conjugal violence, as in the public sphere, in the street and at the workplace, tend to prove that those on whom this violence is exerted are for their aggressors second zone human beings, bodies that can be made to work at will, sexual object bodies.
Thirdly, there is the propagation of an obscurantist discourse that under the name of Islam, takes women’s body and their status in the family, at work and in the public space as a target. Indeed, some events that took place this year in the very midst of some governmental institutions are symptomatic of a disturbing regression that challenges women’s citizenship rights to knowledge and public life.
For all of these reasons, we insist on reasserting :
That no development, no democracy can be built without women’s true participation and the respect of fundamental liberties for all, men and women.
That any form of violence exerted against women will have to be severely penalized.
We are convinced that the legislative gains in terms of equality through the abrogation of discriminatory laws against women and aligning on International Conventions, the consolidation of women’s right to work and the struggle against any form of violence they are submitted to will be able to counter efficiently any attempts of regression that will take women’s rights as a target.
For the Association of Tunisian Women for Research and Development