As Tunisia prepares for the October 26th legislative elections, the small number of women at the head of the electoral lists is drawing criticism. According to thinker and human rights activist Amel Grami, “the left meets the right” when it comes to the role of women in politics. “Here, ideological affiliations become absent,” she said. “Gender takes prevalence over other criteria such as competence, energy, and integrity.” During the ratification of the new Tunisian constitution in February, Ennahda rejected voting in favour of what is known as “horizontal sharing”, that is, the number of male heads of electoral lists should be equal to the number of female heads. Meanwhile, liberal and leftist parties are waging a battle for women’s right to equality with men in decision making positions. However, it appears that the progressive parties have rejected women from the first election event.
“If sharing had not been enforced since the last electoral law during the 2011 elections, the electoral scene would have been devoid of women,” said Saida Garache, a Nidaa Tounes member and representative of the Democratic Women’s Association. Nidaa Tounes gave only two top slots to women.
Maya Jribi, the head of the Republican Party, told Magharebia, “Women exist in all political struggles, but their presence at the head of parties or electoral lists is very weak, sometimes because of a refusal to head the lists, as is the case of our party.”
Salma Baccar, a deputy in the National Constituent Assembly for al-Masaar, expressed regret that parties were deliberately excluding women.
Full Article: Tunisian electoral lists draw criticism | Magharebia.