Tunisia is working on a new constitution. That is, Tunisia’s government is. Tunisia’s government is Islamist.
Tunisian politicians have provoked outrage by debating draft laws that would impose prison sentences for vaguely defined acts of blasphemy and approving wording in the country’s new constitution that says women are “complementary” to men.
The panel approved an article to the new constitution under the principle that a woman is a “complement with the man in the family and an associate to the man in the development of the country”, according to Ms Mabrouk’s August 1 Facebook post.
The newly written constitutional clause protecting women’s rights in the Tunisian constitution has angered feminists and opposition politicians with wording that calls women the “associate” of man.
The article – article 27 of the constitution – states that women’s rights should be protected “under the principal of complementarity at the heart of the family and as man’s associate in the development of the country,” according to versions of the text, translated from Arabic to French, which have circulated on the Internet and in Tunisian media.
It was approved by a vote of 12 to 8 by the Commission of Rights and Liberties, with 9 of those voting for the clause coming from Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party, Ennahdha.
The article was quickly and publicly condemned by Salma Mabrouk, a member of the center-left Ettakatol party who voted against the version of the clause passed by the committee. In a statement on her official Facebook page that quickly spread throughout the activist and feminist communities, she stated, “The majority version completely annuls the concept of equality of the sexes.”
This is not good.