Jenni Wisung (left) works with Tunisia. Here with Safa Salim at our office in Jordan. Photo: Christopher Herwig
Jenni Wisung (left) works with Tunisia. Here with Safa Salim at our office in Jordan. Photo: Christopher Herwig

Kvinna till Kvinna in Tunisia!

Great news! We are now working with women’s organisations in Tunisia. “This is a great possibility to support the Tunisian women’s movement in the ongoing democratization process”, says Jenni Wisung, our Field Representative for Middle East and North Africa.

Women have historically had a stronger position in Tunisia than in several other Middle Eastern and North African countries. Many women were active during the protests in 2011, which led to the “Jasmine revolution”, and in the still ongoing democratization process.

A new constitutional law was adopted in 2014 and was followed by democratic parliamentary and presidential elections. Despite this progress, Tunisia is still battling issues like high unemployment rates, security problems, tensions between Islamic and secular political parties and discontent among the youth.

Traditions and conservative attitudes are some of the reasons why Tunisian women face discrimination and why violence in general has increased.

“Just as the rest of the Tunisian civil society, large sections of the women’s movement in the country is still young. We have noticed that there is a strong desire to organize and work for women’s participation in the rebuilding of a new Tunisia,” says Jenni Wisung.

Unifying women’s organisations

Kvinna till Kvinna has many years of experience in supporting different types of women’s movements in the Middle East. A main objective with the expansion is to contribute to increase cooperation between women’s organisations in Tunisia and other parts of the MENA region in order to exchange experiences.

“One of the organisations that we work with is Aswat Nissa. They are running a political academy in which they are providing young women politicians with new skills through trainings in leadership as well as advocacy and access to political networks. Through the academy, Aswat Nissa promote mutual respect and dialogue, and strive to overcome ideological and social divergences”, Jenni Wisung explains.

Plan to open an office

Kvinna till Kvinna started working in Tunisia at the end of 2016. The plan ahead is to establish new partnerships with more women’s rights organisations and to open an office in the country. At the moment, all Tunisia-related work is managed from Amman in Jordan.

“We will continue our work to increase women’s political participation as well as fighting gender-based violence,” Jenni Wisung concludes.

Olga Beletski
Translation: Selvi Albayrak 

Updated in: 2017-02-28