Tunisia’s Dhaouadi: Dignity and Freedom At Last
After years of repression, Aicha Dhaouadi is serving parliament for the Islamist party.
In 1991, her husband Mohammed Hedi Kefi won asylum in France as a political refugee, but she wasn’t so lucky. “I was taken hostage for seven years before being able to join my spouse in France,” she said in an interview earlier this year.
"Cavemen" is the word she used on the radio a couple of months ago to describe the ultra-conservative Salafists at the University of Manouba, in a suburb of Tunis. Salafists were pressuring administrators to permit women to wear the niqab, a full face veil, to classes.
During the same radio interview the self-avowed secularist argued that few Islamists had ever tried to defend the rights of veiled women under the regime of the ousted president, Ben Ali.
Read the full article at: http://www.womensenews.org/story/the-world/120228/tunisias-om-zied-stays-sharp-power-shifts
Tunisian Politics is All in the Language
Since the revolution, the linguistic identity of Tunisia has become an essential part of political discourse, particularly for the moderate Islamist party Ennahda. Its leader, Rached Ghannouchi, has called using French a “pollution” of Tunisian Arabic.
A few weeks ago, Karima Souid found herself having trouble making an entailed, technical point in Arabic, she switched to French. Omar Chtiou, a member of the popular left-wing Congress for the Republic Party, strongly criticized her for using French within the assembly and reminded her of the need to respect the “Arabic and Muslim identity of Tunisians.”
The 40-year-old French Tunisian tourism professional is one of the 217 representatives in Tunisia’s newly created constituent assembly, charged with writing a new Constitution within the year.
Souid is one of four female deputies elected to represent the center-left party Ettakatol party—the Forum for Labor and Liberties—which won 20 of the 217 seats.