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    Politician’s Remarks About Female Circumcision Spark Outrage

    By Roua Khlifi | Mar 11 2013 Share on Linkedin Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Share on pinterest Print

    Tags: Ahlem Belhaj , female excision , Habib Ellouze , Le Maghreb , main-featured ,

    Habib Ellouz

    Habib Ellouz, an Ennahdha member of the National Constituent Assembly, recently stated in a newspaper interview that female circumcision is “an aesthetic surgery,” prompting popular concerns that he expressed support for the procedure.

    During today’s plenary session, constituent assembly member Nadia Chaabane expressed her disapproval of the statement, which was published in Al-Maghreb newspaper.

    “Women of Tunisia were insulted yesterday,” she said. “It is not acceptable that a member  of the constituent assembly praised a practice that is a crime. …Instead of developing this society, we are bringing in practices that are not ours.”

    She added that Ellouz should either apologize for his statement or resign.

    “It is not acceptable for this assembly to have a member, who does not respect the laws of his country, and encourages a crime,” she said.

    Ahlem Belhaj, president of the Tunisian Association for Democratic Women, called Ellouz’s comments “shameful and disrespectful.” She said members of her association were waiting to hear the responses of other Ennahdha members to Ellouz’s statement.

    She added that for International Women’s Day, Ennahdha supporters had waved banners against the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

    In an interview with Mosaique FM, Ellouz said his words were taken out of context.

    “I would never talk about equality between men and women in that way,” he said. “When the journalist first talked to me, I said that I am a defender of respecting women and equality.”

    Ellouz said that when the journalist mentioned circumcision, he responded that “it is not one of our priorities now. I am against it.”

    In a recording of the interview posted online, Ellouz said that in hot regions, such as Yemen, a deformation of female genitalia occurs that requires an aesthetic procedure. Yet it was not clear if he supported circumcision in Tunisia.

  • By Roua Khlifi  / 
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      elMisses /

      Why is Habib Ellouze,a Ennahdha member of the National Constituant Assembly, worried about the aesthetic aspect of women’s tweet tweets? Hasn’t he got anything else to do (like work on the writing of Tunisia’s new constitution) rather than commenting on things that really shouldn’t concern him at all?

    1. zokra /

      This Ellouz guy is as scary as the leftist bully Samir Bettaieb who went nuts and almost beat up a female member if the assembly live on TV without voicing any regret later…a day after international women’s day.

      But of course, only Ellouz is on the agenda if anti government tunisia-live.

    2. Adel /

      No sane pollitician or any respectable citizen in post-revolution Tunisia would dare to talk of female circumsition as an “aesthetic instrument ” as this would be democratic Nahtha Parlementarian seems to be doing! If one persists in advocating this barbaric act for women then one needs to have his head examined by a shrink before contagion takes hold of other like minded Tunisian politicians…..

    3. Hana /

      As disgusting and sick this idea is, I cannot ask for this person to shut up. He has the right to say what he wants / believes. Respond through your votes on the next election.
      He is there because people voted him in unfortunately and he has to finish his term
      ( since I dont know if there is a recall process in Tunisia )

    4. Zeinab /

      There are many types of female circumcision. Only the most extreme, infibulation, is harmful to health. The other types remove only the clitoris and sometimes the inner labia. They improve the aesthetics, reduce temptations to immorality and increase pleasure for the husband. So maybe it is this version that he referred to, not the harmful infibulation.

    5. Joe /

      lol this happens to way more men then women and in first world nations. Where these boys can not consent to it. Both genders deserve protection. But no one cares about the rights of boys. Its ok to cut apart a little baby boy’s genitals but don’t do it to a girl. This world is so stupid. And Hey if they arent going to protect boys in the U.S.A where it is done for cosmetic reasons as well. Then I dont really care they can do what they want and we are in no position to judge because we do it to our boys instead of girls. Its just a culture difference. Obviously both are extremely wrong. But Americans are no better then these people and thats a fact. I actually think were worse because we could actually educate people easier then some of these nations. We are just too dumb to know any better all well thats life its not fair. Not everyone can have all of their genitals sadly enough haha.

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