Women's rights associations call to include women issues in electoral programmes
16/08/2019 18:28, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - Women's rights associations, on Friday, called to include women's issues in electoral programmes, at a study day themed “Women's Participation in Political Life: electoral issues and democratic challenges”.

The event was jointly organised by the Tunisian League for Human Rights, the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women (ATFD), the Tunisian Women's Association for Development Research and the League of Tunisian Female Voters.

The associations stressed the need to include women's rights issues in electoral programmes, given the low participation rate of women in elections.

Scholar and civil society activist Hafidha Chekir stressed the need to take into account women's rights and encourage women's participation in political life by facilitating their access to decision-making positions within political parties, civil society organisations and trade unions.

It is essential to introduce amendments to many discriminatory provisions in the Personal Status Code relating to ‘the head of the family’, ‘the dowry’, ‘guardianship over children’ and advocating the principle of equal inheritance, she said.

Only 2 women out of 26 candidates run for President and only 4 women top legislative lists, she noted, saying that "the principle of parity is, first and foremost, a mentality and a culture that should be established in society.”

President of the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women Yosra Fraoues said the content of the programmes of the two female presidential candidates does not meet the aspirations of Tunisian women.

She denounced the misogynistic rhetoric prevailing in the debates at the moment, stressing that a smear campaign is being waged against women to dissuade them from being politically active.

ATFD Secretary-General in charge of Development Research Mounira Hammami emphasised the importance of enacting laws to promote horizontal parity in candidate lists to ensure fair representation of men and women, calling on the Independent High Authority for Elections (French: ISIE) to impose sanctions against parties and independent lists that do not respect this principle.

She also condemned violence against women on social media, which discourages or prevents them from exercising their political rights.

Member of the League of Tunisian Female Voters Anouar Mansri underlined said the under-representation of women in elections is due to the lack of political will and non-implementation of the law by political parties, independent lists and coalition lists, which did not respect the principle of equality contained in Article 46 of the constitution.

Article 46 of the constitution stipulates that: "The state commits to protect women’s accrued rights and work to strengthen and develop those rights.

The state guarantees the equality of opportunities between women and men to have access to all levels of responsibility in all domains.

The state works to attain parity between women and men in elected Assemblies.

The state takes all necessary measures in order to eradicate violence against women."

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