From the Editors
[On Tuesday, 9 October, Tunisian blogger and activist, Lina Ben Mhenni, was awarded the "Prix alsacien de l'engagement démocratique" for her activities and involvement during the Tunisian Revolution. She blogs at A Tunisian Girl and also contributes to Global Voices.]
Samia Errazzouki (SE): Regarding the drafting of the new constitution, as a Tunisian woman, how do you respond to the proposed article 28 that defines women as complements of men?
Lina Ben Mhenni (LBM): The attacks against women, freedom, and human rights continue to multiply in Tunisia. And unfortunately, these attacks are coming mostly from the Tunisian government. This article 28 that discusses women in complementary terms to men instead of equal terms is revolting. I ended up protesting against this article on the streets during an unauthorized demonstration and ten policemen beat me. If I could do it again, I would, because in all the internationally recognized charters that speak of human rights, they always address the relationship between men and women in equal terms. Complementarity, as a term, is large and fluid--each individual can interpret it differently. What is the government seeking to achieve or prevent by using complementarity to define the relationship between men and women, instead of equality? Why make detours to avoid being honest?
SE: After a Tunisian woman was raped, then consequently charged with indecency, what was your reaction to the Tunisian government response?
LBM: Every time this incident comes up, I get goose bumps. I am truly shocked and disgusted by the government’s reaction. Here we have a woman who was raped by police officers--officers who are supposed to ensure security and protect citizens. Instead of taking care of the woman by providing either physical or psychological help, she was instead accused of committing a crime. They said they found her in an “indecent situation.” But even if she was found in an “indecent situation,” that does not justify the act of rape. It is not an excuse. I was truly shocked to hear this reaction of the spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior.
SE: What measures have been taken by activists and movements to continue placing pressure on the new government, and to push for change in Tunisia?
LBM: Like I previously said, we can deduct that despite the fact that this is an elected government, nothing has been done to construct a real democracy in Tunisia. A government that justifies rape is shameful. For me, it is no longer legal. Even if this government was democratically elected, it is not legal. What this demonstrates is that this government is incompetent and no measures have been set in place to address, for example, the socioeconomic conditions in Tunisia that continue to worsen. They are incompetent; they attack individual liberties and human rights. Recently, they even refused to include the matter of human rights in the constitution.
SE: What have you done to continue demanding for the initial causes of the uprising?
LBM: As a blogger, it is important for me that we first talk and discuss these matters. Then, march on the streets to demonstrate and continue placing pressure. Anytime there is a major issue, I try to go on the streets, talk to people, and to report all of this. I try to be objective, and when it is time to demonstrate on the streets, I am there to do so.
If you prefer, email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hot on Facebook
Jadalicious / جدلشس
"The dominators are militarily strong, but politically vulnerable... The fact that the Israeli economy is not dependent on Palestinian labour may mean that the international BDS campaign is even more important than in South Africa... unfavourable power balances can be altered by effective citizens’ campaigns."click | email | tweet
Latest EntriesView All Entries »
- Reporter Jon Snow on Gaza's Children: Misery and Responsibility
- The Informants: Manufacturing Terror
- Arab Studies Journal Call for Papers: "Wayn al-Dawleh?" In Search of the Lebanese State
- Video: When Media Coverage Of Gaza And Israel Becomes The Story
- Maghreb Media Roundup (July 26)
- عن صعود الطائفية السياسية في العراق و تفكيكها
- Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked
- Growing Israeli and Neoconservative Fears of One More Frittata (Groundbreaking Video)
- Statement by Palestinian Academics, Public Figures, and Activists in Gaza: No Ceasefire Without Justice
- The Palestinian Resistance and Its Enemies
- Jadaliyya Co-Editor Noura Erakat Debates the Tactics and Ethics of Warfare on PBS Newshour
- Media on the Margins: An Interview with Sky News' Sherine Tadros on Reporting the Israeli Attack on Gaza
- O.I.L. Media Roundup (24 July)
- A Debate on Gaza: Democracy Now! Interviews Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada and. J.J. Goldberg of the Jewish Daily Forward
- New Texts Out Now: Mohammad Ali Kadivar, Alliances and Perception Profiles in the Iranian Reform Movement, 1997 to 2005
- Fractured Space: The Case of Souk al-Ahad, Beirut
- Al-Diwan Roundup: News and Analysis in Publishing and Academia from the Arab World
- Can Palestinian Men be Victims? Gendering Israel's War on Gaza
- Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (July 22)
- Israel Mows the Lawn
Jad NavigationView Full Map, Topics, and Countries »
Video: When Media Coverage Of Gaza And Israel Becomes The Story http://t.co/kEHo0NzxJ5
yesterday at 10:25 AM
The Informants: Manufacturing Terror http://t.co/AXY0FGKVRh
yesterday at 9:47 AM
Growing Israeli and Neoconservative Fears of One More Frittata (Groundbreaking Video) http://t.co/uIm7t77jEm
yesterday at 9:47 AM
عن صعود الطائفية السياسية في العراق و تفكيكها http://t.co/XenCubKnq1
yesterday at 9:46 AM
Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked http://t.co/IuZHBgf5zc
yesterday at 9:45 AM