Tunisia tramples gender parity ahead of parliamentary elections

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Tunisia tramples gender parity ahead of parliamentary elections


A Tunisian woman holds up a placard that reads in Arabic: “We are full citizens, not a decoration for sponsorships,” during a demonstration in Tunis, Tunisia on October 7, 2022. © 2022 Chedly Ben Ibrahim/AP Photo

Recent Change to Electoral Law Reverses Major Advance for Women’s Rights

A new electoral law introduced by Tunisian President Kais Saied on September 15 eliminated the principle of gender parity in elected assemblies, and could, in turn, result in Tunisia’s parliament being led almost exclusively by men. The country’s next parliamentary elections are set to take place on December 17.

The new law strips gender parity provisions from a previous electoral law that strove to ensure equal representation between men and women in Tunisia’s elected assemblies, although Tunisia’s new constitution explicitly upholds this principle.

Ensuring gender parity in elected assemblies was one of the major accomplishments for women’s rights following Tunisia’s 2011 revolution. After the principle was first enshrined in the 2014 Constitution, the country’s 2014 electoral law required candidate lists to alternate their members between men and women. This led to the election of 68 female parliamentarians in 2014, representing 31 percent of the Assembly of Representatives of the People (ARP).

Click here to read the full article published by Human Rights Watch on 2 November 2022.

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