The Future is Equal

Victory in Tunisia: new law says “Enough” to violence against women and girls

The Tunisian Parliament, on July 26th 2017, adopted a new law for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, including domestic violence.

In response, Soufia Galand, Oxfam Country Office Tunisia Gender Justice Officer, said:

“The revolution is still alive and it has added a feminist milestone to its path!

This week, women and men from different political parties – from left to right, religious and secular – stood up together to say that violence against women and girls is unacceptable, and that we all have a responsibility to end this atrocious violation of women’s rights.

Through this law, the State shifted the blame from the woman survivor of violence to the perpetrator, and ended the shameful right for a rapist to marry the woman he has raped. It also explicitly condemns women’s economic exploitation including discrimination against women in pay. The law has new criminal provisions and penalties as well as various preventive measures. With this law, we finally put the needs and rights of women and girls who have experienced violence at the center of the State’s response.

To all the survivors of violence who have spoken out, to all the feminist activists and organizations that campaigned for decades for this law, to every Tunisian who stood up and said ‘Enough to violence against women and girls’: today we are a bit safer – thanks to you.

This law is a critical milestone achieved by the feminist struggle and revolution. More milestones are yet to be achieved while ensuring the translation of these commitments on paper to reality, including the review of the family code, monitoring the implementation of the law and ensuring the modelling of positive gender norms.

For Oxfam, the adoption of the new law is a reflection of the momentum to be the change we want to see. We will continue our effort, together with our partners, to take this law into its greatest potentials, to challenging and changing the social norms that perpetuate and condone abuse, and mobilize people to stand together to say ‘Enough to violence against women and girls’. We will ensure our ‘Enough’ call continues to be heard in Parliament and in everyday life, so that once and for all we can truly end violence against women and girls.”

Notes to editors:
Oxfam spokespeople are available for interview in Tunisia.

In November 2016, Oxfam launched a global campaign called “Enough: Together We Can End Violence Against Women and Girls”.