The Foundation - Civil and political rights - Tunisia

The Chemin de la Dignité association accompanies women leaders in Douar Hicher

30.10.2018 / Created by (EMWF)
The Chemin de la Dignité association accompanies women leaders in Douar Hicher

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: 

  • Organization of a workshop to raise awareness on reproductive and postpartum health (maternal health, child health before and after childbirth) in partnership with the National Office of Family and Population (ONFP).
  • Organization of a debate on the Law on the elimination of violence against women (organic law n ° 2017-58) and the mechanisms of care for women victims of violence in partnership with the Center for Childhood in Douar Hicher who comes under the Ministry of Women and Family.
  • Establishment of a cultural activity for the benefit of young people (projection of a documentary film) and discussion on the rights to work and education.
  • Organization of an awareness day on the preservation of the environment through the recycling of plastic bottles.
  • Mobilization of the inhabitants to clean and decorate the green and public spaces of the locality.
  • Organization of cultural shows for the benefit of the women of the "Fadhel Sassi" neighborhood.
  • Reconditioning of the Douar Hicher Youth House.
  • Organization of an interactive day with elected officials of the municipality and a group of women around the theme of women’s participation in public affairs.
  • Organization of an awareness day for 34 women on the importance of mentoring, listening and communicating in a healthy way with their child.
  • Creation of a cultural café for the women of Douar Hicher at the Youth Center.
  • Media coverage of community initiatives led by the 11 women described previously.

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)



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