The Integral Law on Combating Violence Against Women adopted by the Tunisian Assembly

The Assembly of People’s Representatives adopted on Wednesday the comprehensive law on combating violence against women. With 146 votes in favor, 0 abstentions and 0 against, this law is a major step forward for the legal protection of women from violence committed against them. Defended by the civil society, this law resumes “all the recommendations” of this last indicates the lawyer and activist Ghazi Mrabet.

Among the measures it introduces is the amendment of article 227 bis of the Criminal Code. No longer provides impunity for the rapist. Indeed, in its old version, the article provided a possibility for the rapist to escape a prison sentence if he married his victim. According to the new article 227 bis, anyone who has sex with a minor under 16 years of age with their consent is punishable by 6 years of imprisonment. Anyone who has sexual intercourse with a girl over 16 years of age and under 18 years of age with her consent is also punishable by 5 years imprisonment. The penalties are doubled if the person is close to the person or exercises influence over him or her. However, if the “crime” is committed by a minor, section 59 of the Child Protection Act will apply.

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Another measure is the prohibition of the employment of minors as domestic helpers, which will be sanctioned from 3 to 6 months imprisonment.

Discussed throughout the day, the age of sexual maturity was raised to 16 years instead of 13 years. Welcomed with happiness by civil society and social networks, this law is a step forward in the consecration of article 46 of the Constitution as indicated by the former member of the National Constituent Assembly Nadia Chaabane. It provides that “The State is committed to protecting women’s acquired rights, supporting them and working to improve them. The State guarantees equal opportunities for women and men to assume different responsibilities and in all fields. The State works to achieve parity between women and men in elected councils. The State shall take the necessary measures to eradicate violence against women. “


Tunisia: Doctors are now able to preserve the fertility of women with cancer

The first of its kind in Tunisia, the medical staff at the Aziza Othmana hospital managed, on Friday, July 14, to freeze an ovarian fragment taken from a young woman who was about to receive chemotherapy.

This medical intervention is aimed at preserving people suffering from cancer, the risks of sterility incurred by chemotherapy, Dr. Mohamed Khrouf, an associate professor at the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, declared on Saturday, within the Aziza Othmana Hospital.

The principle, he observed, is to take a whole fragment of the ovarian tissue to freeze it. Once the chemotherapy is completed, this fragment will be re-implanted into the patient’s uterus, which will then be able to have a child using in vitro fertilization, he added.

The Aziza Othmana hospital has been working since 2014 to launch a program to freeze ovaries and spermatozoa before any chemotherapy treatment, saying that up to 120 oocytes have been frozen.

Dr Khrouf stressed that the Aziza Othmana hospital will continue to use this medical intervention which, according to him, has no side effects on the health of the patient.

Tunisia receives African Union Award for Youth Development

Tunisia has received the African Union Award in the Field of Youth Development to honor a number of member countries that have distinguished their achievements in the field of diversity on the sidelines of the first day of the 29th Ordinary Session of the African Union Conference on July 3rd, 2017 in Addis Ababa.

Tunisia has been honored with the award of the “Best Indicator of Social Rights for Women“, at the conclusion of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union at its previous session held in the Rwandan capital of Kigali on 17 and 18 July 2016 under the theme “2016 Human Rights Year in Africa With a focus on women’s rights. “

Tunisian artist Samia Bensliman exhibits at the United Nations in New York

As part of the Art for Peace exhibition at the United Nations in New York, Tunisian painter Samia Bensliman was chosen to exhibit her work.
Her paintings draw portraits, one of them representing a Berber Tunisian;


Samia is a lawyer and wife of Tunisian diplomat Riadh Bensliman, the artist has excelled in oil painting and her success is at the rendez-vous.


Indeed, it is not the first time that the painter exhibits in the United States. She has already participated in the exhibition “Feast of Art” at the New York gallery Ashok Jain Gallery in 2016 and at the exhibitions “Islamic Heritage Society New York” and “Creative Mischief” organized by the National Academy Museum & School in 2015 .

Inclusive, Equitable and Quality Education goes to the heart of the 2030 Agenda

28 June 2017 – Education leaders from around the world convened today at the United Nations to discuss ways to advance action on Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to “ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.”

Inclusive, equitable and quality education goes to the heart of the 2030 Agenda as a key enabler of sustainable development, said Peter Thomson, President of the General Assembly, in his opening remarks at the High-level SDG Action Event on Education.

Mr. Thomson pointed out that education taps the Earth’s greatest asset, namely the inherent potential of the world’s people.

Access to quality education is not only a goal in itself, but a fundamental building block to creating a better world of sustainable peace, prosperity and development, he underscored.

He went on to explain that education holds the key to fueling sustainable growth, building social cohesion and stability, and promoting human rights and equality – calling it “the golden thread that runs through all 17 SDGs.”

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed dubbed education as “the cornerstone of sustainable development.”

Ms. Mohammed maintained that the world can only be shaped by quality and relevant education, stressing the importance of investments to ensure a strong framework.

We know when we deliver education to a young person, we’re not only delivering the knowledge and skills they will need to chart their own future — we’re preparing them to lend their hands, their mind, and their heart to shaping a more peaceful, prosperous future for their society, and indeed, for the world, she said.

The UN deputy chief focussed specifically on the five interrelated areas of finance, innovation, girls’ education, lifelong learning, and education in humanitarian contexts.

Noting that the wealthiest children enjoy up to 18 times more public education financing than the poorest, she exhorted, “This injustice must be reversed.”

There is no better investment in the future peace and resilience of a society than in the education of its citizens, she stated.


For her part, Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), emphasized education as a basic human right and the foundation for inclusive sustainable development.

Education is a transformational force that cuts across all of the Sustainable Development Goals, making progress sustainable across the board, said Ms. Bokova.

Citing UNESCO’s regular global monitoring reports, she noted that 264 million children, adolescents and youth were out of schoolmost of them girls.

Girls and women face the steepest challenges. Two-thirds of the more than 750 million illiterate adults in the world are women, stressed Ms. Bokova, adding that they are often discriminated against, prevented from enrolling or continuing their education, dropping out of secondary education and facing strong barriers.

If we do not move these barriers away… we will not achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4, she underscored.

If all adults completed secondary education, 420 million people could be lifted from poverty, reducing the number of poor people by more than half globally, by almost two-thirds in Sub-Saharan Africa, in South Asia… and yet, aid to education has fallen for the sixth consecutive year,” Ms. Bokova indicated. “This can simply not go on.”

As experts discussed how to advance SDG 4, the event also highlighted innovations in education through a panel discussion and a “marketplace” that showcased solutions to delivering low-cost or free learning resources to students and educators.

This event, which also featured musical performances, was the last in a series of SDG action events convened by the Office of the President of the General Assembly. Others focussed on sustainable peace, climate action, financing and innovation.

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Child marriage will cost the world $4tn by 2030, researchers warn

Ending child marriage could add more than $4 tn to the global economy, curb population growth and transform the lives of millions of young women worldwide, claim researchers.

A study by the World Bank and the International Center for Research on Women, the first to quantify the financial cost of the practice, suggests that eradicating child marriage would save governments money while enabling girls to complete their education and get better jobs.

This research provides crucial evidence showing that child marriage doesn’t just impact the lives of the 15 million girls married every year, but also has a major negative impact on the economic development of the countries in which these girls live, said Lakshmi Sundaram, executive director of Girls Not Brides, a coalition of organizations committed to ending child marriage.

“Governments and other policymakers should be spurred on by this research to commit additional energy and resources to ending child marriage by 2030. By ridding the world of child marriage, we can help alleviate poverty and ensure that girls everywhere have access to a brighter future.”

Though the global child marriage rate is in decline, every two seconds a girl under the age of 18 becomes a bride. Niger has the world’s highest child marriage rate, with 76% of women married before reaching 18. In India, more than 26 million women became brides before 18.

Across the 25 countries with the highest number of child marriages, one in five women aged 18-22 had her first child before 18.

The researchers suggest gains in annual welfare costs from lower population growth could eventually reach more than $500 bn a year.

Ending child marriage, a target of the sustainable development goals adopted by the UN in 2015, would have major benefits for governments and donors, said Suzanne Petroni, a senior director at the International Center for Research on Women.

One of the ways in which we thought we could potentially affect more significant change by governments and donors was by helping them understand the bottom line – what does child marriage cost to their economies? said Petroni, one of the report’s authors.

And as finance ministers and others saw the findings and realized there is actually a financial cost to our country’s development as a result of child marriage, they might take it more seriously and provide investments to end the practice.


The report is based on three years’ research using national surveys, international statistics and interviews, and was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and the Global Partnership for Education.

Looking at data from 15 countries with high child marriage rates, the report found that a girl marrying at 13 will have 26% more children over her lifetime than if she had married at 18 or later. Researchers calculated that ending child marriage would reduce national fertility rates by 11%.

The study estimated that ending child marriage would save billions of dollars each year, reaching $566 bn by 2030 due to reduced population growth. Fewer deaths and reduced stunting among children under five years old would also save billions. Ending all early childbirths could save up to $708 bn by 2030.

Ending child marriage would also improve women’s expected earnings, as girls are likely to leave school when they marry.

Benefits would be felt particularly strongly in poorer segments of populations, said the researchers, as young girls in poverty are more likely to marry early than girls from other socio-economic groups.

Four Tunisian women among the 200 most influential women in the world

Under the slogan “Revitalizing Europe with Women Energy“, the “Women’s Forum 2017“, which is currently taking place in Rome, saw the celebration of four Tunisian women this year.

200 women leaders from different sectors, government leaders, business leaders, Nobel Prize laureates and other women personalities from Europe and the Mediterranean countries, including Tunisia, took part in the event.

The four Tunisians chosen from among the most influential are:

Salma Elloumi, Minister of Tourism

Asma Ben Hmida, President of ENDA Interarabe.

Sonia Ben M’Rad, President of the Regional Chamber of Businesswomen of Tunis -UTICA– and Founding President of Women Leaders Mondiales Tunisia.

Donia Kaouach, Entrepreneur and Founding President of “Tunisiennes Fières” (Proud Tunisians).

Revitalizing Europe with Women Energy” aims to mobilize women’s energy to strengthen and restore confidence in the future of Europe and facilitate dialogue between the two shores of the Mediterranean.



Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship competition 2017

(My idea “learning platform for African women” was nominated for the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition in the Best Idea 2017 category. Please read my idea at and I would be happy if you support me with comments and votes!)

Below are the competition’s details:

This global platform empowers young entrepreneurs (age 15-35) from around the world to engage in a more peaceful world. Participants are invited to submit their innovative ideas and projects with a societal impact, which champion and implement one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).

17 goals

How to proceed

First step:

Register online and create your account!

Second step:

If you want to submit an idea, go to Submit an idea!

If you want to submit a project, go to Submit a project!

Fill out and submit the preliminary entry form.

Then wait for a response from the competition administrators.

Entries are reviewed by the competition administrators of Stiftung Entrepreneurship Berlin and Digital Experts United. Only those entries that meet a certain standard and pass the preliminary screening will be invited to a second entry form.

Third step:

Entries (ideas and projects) that have passed the preliminary screening will be posted on the competition website, and may receive comments and recommendations from the Entrepreneurship Campus online community. Starting from 15 May 2017, the general public can vote for its favorite entries and also add their comments and recommendations.

Deadline 31 July 2017

Important advice! Interact with the Entrepreneurship Campus online community, to refine your idea/ project, and to comment constructively on other entries. Take the free online courses at the Entrepreneurship Campus.

Selection of the winners


Entries will be posted on the competition website and are subject to online commenting and public voting.

10 finalists in each of the two categories (Best Ideas category and Best Projects category) will be determined according to the ‘Personal Activity Indicator’ .

From among the finalists, the judges will make the final selection of three winners (Grand Prize, 2nd Prize and 3rd Prize) in each category.

A People’s Choice Prize will be given to the entry with the largest number of votes in each of the two categories.

In addition, an Entrepreneurship Campus Prize will be given to three entrants who have demonstrated outstanding ‘entrepreneurship spirit’ by actively taking part in the Entrepreneurship Campus.

This program is an activity of the UNESCO Global Action Program (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)


AU envoys open session during 29th AU summit

The 34th session of the Permanent Representative Committee (PRC) of the African Union (AU) opened on Tuesday in the framework of the 29th AU summit in Ethiopia‘s capital Addis Ababa.

The 29th AU summit is held from June 27 to July 4 under the theme, “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth“.

The PRC meeting is expected to prepare the agenda of the AU Summit with appropriate recommendations for consideration by the AU Executive Council, scheduled to take place from June 30 to July 1, and will be followed by the session of AU heads of states on July 3-4.

In his opening remarks, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission, noted that the summit is being held at a time when Africa is facing multiple challenges, which require coherent actions and commitment from the AU member states.

The 29th AU summit focuses on the reform of the pan-African bloc, peace and security, and addressing issues related to migration among others.

The situations in South Sudan, Libya, Mali, Central African Republic (CAR), Burundi, DRC, the region of Darfur and Somalia are the hot issues as far as peace and security is concerned on the continent, according to the Chairperson of the AU Commission.

The PRC meeting brings all the ambassadors of the 55 AU member states based in Addis Ababa and other key AU officials.


FEMRITE announced 2 months ago the call for submissions for the 7th Regional Residency for African Women Writers which will be co-hosted with Karavan, a Swedish literary magazine, with support from the Swedish Institute.

The 10-day writing residency will take place, in Kampala, in February 2018. The 10 selected writers will re-work their submitted manuscripts, participate in peer reviewing of work(s)-in-progress, receive feedback from mentors, participate in a public reading, share information on writing, and work with selected schools to start reading and writing projects.

The residency will cover the return air ticket, accommodation, and meals for the period of the residency.

Who is eligible to apply?

Any African woman writer who lives on the continent, is working on a novel or memoir manuscript, writes in English and hasn’t published more than one book, can apply.

What you need to submit:

  • An extract from a novel or memoir manuscript that you would like to re-work during the residency (Maximum 5000 words)

  • A short story for publication in the residency anthology (minimum 3000 words)

  • Biography (150 words or less)

  • A passport-size photo

The documents have to be sent as Microsoft Word attachments. (Times New Roman, size 12, 1.5 spacing.)

Does not include illustrations.

Deadline for submission is 15th July 2017.

FEMRITE will notify successful applicants by 30th August 2017.

For submissions or further inquiries, please send an email to and copy to