The Tunisian Parliament on 26th July, 2017 passed a bill that aims to “end all violence against women”. It strengthens the protection and help for victims. This decision is appreciated by the rights groups.
Women’s Minister, Naziha Laabidi has stated that it is a very emotional moment and that she is proud that Tunisia has passed a historic project.
The new law is expected to come in force next year. It identifies physical, moral and sexual violence. This was stated by lawmaker Bochra Behlaj Hmida after casting his vote.
The law aims at providing judicial and psychological assistance to the victims of domestic violence. It removes a controversial article which allowed a man to escape his punishment for rape by marrying the victim.
Though Tunisia is leading the way for women’s rights in the Arab world, the rights group complain that the discrimination still exist and about half of Tunisian women have been subjected to violence in one form or other at least once in their lives.
A government minister from the Islamist Ennahda Party, Sayida Ounissi, had stated to Middle East Eye the previous year, when the bill was introduced, this law would change the role of state in protecting the women. She also stated that the state can punish you even if you are violent towards women behind the closed doors and hence, you will be answerable to the society for your actions as the society is together paying the cost of it in terms of health, violence and insecurity.
Tunisia has the highest representation of female in it parliament, more that 30%, when compared to other Arab countries.