Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tunisia: Women Try to Assert Independence

Islam, Women and Feminism

Sarah Mersch describes women’s role in the struggle of Tuninisia’s struggle and explains how they are afraid of being sidelined in the formation of government. She writes, “"We want to keep moving forward and not make a U-turn." - Activists fear Tunisia's new government might try to roll back the rights of women

But with the moderate Islamic Ennahda movement having won 40 percent of the vote in the 2011 elections, some women now fear that the government may try to compel them to adhere to certain practices, traditional and otherwise.

"I don't want anyone to force me to do anything," Salma, a young translator from Tunis stated. "If I decide some day to wear a headscarf, or even a burqa, no one has the right to tell me yes on no." The same, she added, applied to drinking alcohol or having a boyfriend.

The Ennahda-led government has repeatedly assured the public that it will not try to roll back the rights of women. But skeptics fear that words are one thing, and actions another.”

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