The End of the Beginning: Tunisia’s Revolution and Fighting for the Future. (Spring 2012)

Tunisia marked the first anniversary of its largely peaceful revolution on January 14 2012. It has been a momentous year since spontaneous public uprisings involving women and men, old and young, rural and urban, led to the demise of a dictatorship. In October 2011, the first free and fair parliamentary elections in decades took place. But the story is not over. The economy is still in shambles and institutions of governance are weak. The security sector will need reform. There are also thorny issues of justice, truth-telling and reconciliation to deal with the past and move forward. Despite the opening of public and political space for activism and civil engagement, women are among the first groups to experience a backlash, largely orchestrated by conservative Islamic groups.

The struggle for the identity, soul and future of Tunisia is just beginning. What happens to women now, how they are treated, and what role they play will be critical indications of the direction the country takes. ICAN’s first “What the Women Say” Tunisia brief addresses the evolving political landscape, the implications for women, their actions and their requests to international and domestic actors

What The Women Say

“ We are not a project. It is a matter of life for millions of people.”

— Woman peacebuilder

What The Women Say

“ Help us talk, don't just arm us to kill.”

— Syrian woman activist

What The Women Say

“Do not tell us that it’s not time to fight for our rights. There’s no convenient time; we have to always be fighting.”

— Pakistani women’s rights activist

What The Women Say

“State prisons are feeding the pool of foreign fighters… many are radicalized during incarceration.”

— Tajik woman lawyer

What The Women Say

“I say Jihad is not spilling or wasting blood in the streets, it is giving blood in hospitals to people who need it.”

— Iraqi woman peacebuilder

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