Over the last couple of days, the World Social Forum, which made its debut in Tunisia on Tuesday, has wrapped up amid ongoing women’s rights protests.
“Solidarity with women around the world!” was just one slogan being chanted at the start of the anti-globalization event, the first in an Arab country.
Throughout the Arab world, Tunisia has always been at the forefront where women’s rights are concerned. Both Tunisian and other world observers believe this could only continue to improve after their ‘Jasmine’ revolution in 2011.
However, one Tunisian blogger, Lin Ben Mhenni, has said, “unfortunately our rights are threatened.”
There have been several events proving this statement to be true, one most recent is the young 19-year-old girl who posted topless pictures of herself on the social networking site Facebook.
Amina created a Facebook group for the international feminist movement FEMEN, which rallies women together to make a stand and usually involves nudity.
She wrote in black marker on her chest in Arabic “my body is mine, not somebody’s to honor.”
Amina’s statement by the female youth sparked reactions on a myriad of social networking sites, but the icing on the cake was when a Salafist cleric called for the girl to be flogged and then stoned to death.
This may not be the best way to get one’s point across, but, on the other hand, she is fighting for her rights. However, there are many ways to create a stand without reverting to such ‘shock tactics’ in the Arab world, which goes against the basic Arab belief system.
When former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was in power, Tunisian women enjoyed more freedom, but things seemed to have regressed in the hands of the ruling Ennahda party.
Maybe this could be the underlying cause for such dramatic and extreme activity taking place among the Tunisian female youth. But, Tunisia was once an extremely secular state denying some Muslim women the right to wear their traditional Islamic dress, whether it is the hijab, niqab or burqa.
Arije Nasser, a 22-year-old English student told the BBC that she had chosen to wear the niqab, the full veil that reveals only one’s eyes, after the revolution in 2011.
“I feel like a princess when I walk down the street wearing this. The niqab and even the hijab were forbidden before the revolution, but now we feel more comfortable to practice our religious activities,” Nasser said.
But, other women in Tunisia think differently. They see Ennahda as a hardline Islamist party looking to implement Sharia law, which may seek to strip them of their rights, denying them their freedom and throwing the hope for democracy out of the window.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر