Violence against women has long been recognized as a global epidemic, and the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly escalated threats to women’s safety, security and access to justice.
Tunisia enjoys the second-highest human development score in Africa. Since the one-party regime was overthrown in late 2011, the country has embarked on a tortuous transition towards democracy. A new progressive constitution was approved in early 2014, consolidating women's rights and bringing innovations in a number of areas, including open government, state decentralization and sustainable use of natural resources.
Tunisia adopted its first national procedure manual for women’s shelters, as a result of IDLO’s program to enhance women’s protection against gender-based violence. This work was made possible by funding from the Government of Italy.
Since the revolution in 2011, Tunisia has experienced a period of significant political transition and change culminating in the adoption of a new constitution in 2014, which called for justice reform and protection of women’s rights. However, the practical application of the framework for legal assistance in Tunisia demonstrates the insufficiency of existing relevant mechanisms. Therefore, there is the strong need to empower women to access justice and claim their rights.
“Women’s participation is not simply ‘the right thing to do’. It can also lead to better justice outcomes and experiences,” stated IDLO’s Director of Programs Erwin van der Borght at the opening of the Regional Symposium of African Women Judges held in Fes, Morocco on October 10, 2019.
By Nada Riahi, IDLO Program Manager for Tunisia, and Raffaella Pizzamiglio, IDLO Research Associate
Tunisian women professionals have made significant strides in their rate of participation in the justice sector in recent years.
IDLO and Tunisia’s Ministry of Development, Investment and International Cooperation have signed a new cooperation agreement to strengthen the country’s capacity to negotiate and implement international investment treaties.
Tunisia has achieved considerable economic progress in recent years despite regional challenges affecting foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows. Because FDI is so critical to the economic growth necessary to underpin economic growth and stability, Tunisia recognizes the need to attract and retain more FDI, building on the investments already made in the country. With the guidance and support of the Ministry of Development, Investment and International Cooperation (MDICI), Tunisia has engaged with IDLO to strengthen Tunisia's institutional capacity in relation to intern
IDLO and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) convened a forum in Casablanca, Morocco on 14-15 December 2017 to lay the foundations for the first regional network for women judges in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region – Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, and West Bank and Gaza.
On 26 July 2017, Tunisia’s parliament approved a landmark bill seeking to eliminate all forms of violence against women. The passage of the bill, which is set to enter force in 2018, represents the first national legislation dealing with violence against women based on a human rights approach.
A strong regime of intellectual property (IP) law is crucial for fostering increased investment and innovation in key sectors of the economy. In recent years Tunisia has focused on building and implementing a policy for attracting foreign investment. Following the adoption of the new constitution, many laws regulating the economy were revised and a new investment code was adopted. The Tunisian government has also strengthened the legal framework for protecting IP, by acceding to the majority of treaties relating to IP and passing several laws on these matters.