By Roua Seghaier | Jan 2 2013Constitution ,Women's Right ,Workers' Party
As post-revolutionary Tunisia continues down the painstaking path of drafting its constitution, the Womenâ€™s Organization, recently established by the Workers’ Party, is striving to assure that womenâ€™s rights are given due attention in the drafting process.
In adherence to the Marxist saying that â€œsocial progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex,â€ the Workersâ€™ Party organized on Saturday, December 29,Â a two-day conference to inaugurate the Womenâ€™s Organization.
The conference was held under the slogan â€œFree Women, Free Societyâ€ and attended by the leader of the Workersâ€™ Party Hamma Hammami, party cabinet members Rafiqa Rkik and Latifa Kouki, lawyer Radhia Nasraoui, and other civil society activists. For the attendees, the event occurred at a crucial time in Tunisia.
Hammami asserted that Tunisian men and women had concrete revolutionary demands that ought to serve as a guide for the ongoing democratic transition. Tunisians did not revolt for polygamy, female genital mutilation, or under-age marriage, but for dignity and equality, he said.
The organizationâ€™s members expressed their fear that the rights of women are slipping away since the ratio of their representation in media, politics, and high-level decision-making has decreased since the revolution.
Hammami claimed that there is no single article in the draft constitution that addresses womenâ€™s rights, and that attempts to undermine such rights have begun since the ruling Ennahdha party reached power. From the rejected draft law labeling Tunisian women as â€œcomplementary to menâ€ to instances of gender-based aggression and rape, the status of women in Tunisian society is being questioned. Hammami explained that the equation of gender equality with promiscuity is rhetoric alien to Tunisiaâ€™s Muslim history, since the first rights granted to Tunisian women were issued by Taher Haddad, an Islamic scholar.
The newly founded Women Organization strives to be â€œthe voice of every Tunisian woman,â€ Rkik asserted during Saturdayâ€™s conference.