The rights of Tunisian women have been safeguarded in the aftermath of Tunisia’s popular uprising, despite initial and widespread fears of the contrary following the democratic victory of the Islamist Ennahdha party. Article 46 of the new constitution not only reinforces ‘les droits acquis’ of Tunisian women, but also seeks to expand them. The post-uprising preservation of women’s rights can be explained by the persistent hegemony of the image of the professional, modern and emancipated ‘Femme Tunisienne’ – since independence presented as a role model for women to live up to – and its crucial role in the truth regime of Tunisian modernist identity (‘Tunisianité’). In order to understand the (dis)continuities of this imaginary after the overthrow of Ben Ali, the paper traces the origins of the hegemonic yet ambiguous ‘Femme’ and discusses the role of Tunisia’s women’s movements in its reconstruction since the uprising.
Middle East Law and Governance – Brill
Published: Nov 28, 2016
Keywords: Post-uprising Tunisia; women’s movements; Tunisianité