The political and public participation of women is today a major imperative for the realization of democracy and the consolidation of gender equality in society. In Tunisia, despite the constitutional gains regarding women’s rights, their participation in community life and in decision-making positions remains low.
Following this observation, in 2017, the Association El Karama / "Chemin de la Dignité" (Path of Dignity - ACD) conducted a field diagnosis in Douar Hicher on the economic, social and political factors that influence the active participation of women in public and political spheres compared to other urban areas of the capital.
Following the recommendations resulting from this diagnosis, the ACD defined a field project named IFEDAH (Equality Initiatives for Women in Douar Hicher). This project focuses on building the capacity of 12 Douar Hicher women to take action in public life and change an aspect related to the situation of women in their locality. Several partners were involved in the implementation of the project: the Center for Defense and Social Integration (CDIS) (government agency), the Child Protection Center (public body), the City of Douar Hicher (local authority), two university researchers, an association and a media.
Between July and August 2018, twelve women participated in training activities involving interpersonal communication, leadership, women’s rights and gender concepts (discrimination, social roles and access to resources). Through these sessions, women developed their self-esteem in professional relationships and acquired tools for analysis and advocacy regarding gender equality, including the CEDAW convention.
At the end of the training, each of them had the opportunity to carry out a community initiative for the benefit of women and men:
In addition, other activities took place such as the production of 5 radio programs on the participation of Douar Hicher’s women in public and political life, as well as 2 meetings with members of the local cluster of equality actors© of Douar Hicher on the progress of the project.
In addition to the 12 women who were involved, the local media and members of the local cluster, at least 100 citizens of Douar Hicher, 50 officials and 1000 listeners of local and national media benefited from this project. The Mayor of Douar Hicher congratulated the work of the ACD and the 12 women who coordinated the initiatives to build a world without gender-based discrimination and to initiate a dynamic of fruitful collaboration between local entities.
This initiative is part of the field projects developed by the local clusters of gender equality actors© set up by the Euro-Mediterranean Women’s Foundation since 2015. It is part of the "Reinforcing the capacity of equality actors" project, funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) and coordinated by the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed). This action is also part of the project "Developing women’s empowerment", labeled by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.