Human Rights Watch on Thursday hailed a new law to fight domestic violence in Tunisia as a “landmark step” towards protecting women’s rights but called for funding to fully implement it.
The law, passed Wednesday and expected to enter into force next year, provides for help to victims of domestic violence and removes a controversial article that allows rapists to escape punishment if they marry their victim.
The law also criminalizes sexual harassment in public places and the employment of children as domestic workers, as well as fines employers paying women less than their male counterparts, HRW said in a statement.
“Tunisia’s new law provides women with the measures necessary to seek protection from acts of violence by their husbands, relatives, and others,” HRW’s Amna Guellali said.
“The government should now fund and support institutions to translate this law into genuine protection.”
The New York-based group said that “while the law requires authorities to refer women to shelters if they are in need, it provides no mechanisms for funding either governmental or nongovernmental shelters”.
The law recognises “physical, moral and sexual” violence, lawmaker Bochra Belhaj Hmida told AFP after Wednesday’s vote.
Tunisia is seen as a pioneer of women’s rights in the Arab world but rights groups say women are still discriminated against, and around half say they have been subject to at least one form of violence in their lives.
Tour operator Thomas Cook back to Tunisia after UK travel advice shiftsTour operator Thomas Cook will restart holidays in Tunisia now that Britain has softened its travel advice to the country, the firm’s boss said ... Economy
Tunisia votes to ‘end all violence’ against womenTunisia’s parliament on Wednesday passed a bill designed to “end all violence against women”, strengthening protection and help for ... North Africa
Former minister: US Marines entered Tunisia by orders of ex-president MarzoukiFormer Tunisian Defense Minister Abdelkarim Zubaidi expressed his surprise at statements made by former President Moncef Marzouki to Al Jazeera ... Features
How Tunisia’s Marzouki defended QatarA complex network is currently active in the media, which is defending the Qatari propaganda and attacking its rivals. It is not just a regional or a ... Middle East