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And training women to advocate for themselves as politicians, she determined, is the best way to do that.
“We want our future policies [to be] informed by the diversity of women and not just represent one vision of women,” said Ben Said.
Aswat Nissa was founded by Ikram Ben Said in the spring of 2011, which was quickly followed by the complementary Women’s Political Academy in 2012.
Aswat Nissa trains women from the entire political spectrum, from Islamists to secularists.
If you go to Tunisia, wander the streets of the capital Tunis, you will see women in public spaces, coffee shops and restaurants who seem to be enjoying their lives.
If you go to schools and universities, you will notice that women make up half of the faculty staff and female students outnumber their male counterparts.
One by one, they stand in front of the classroom and explain to their peers why they want to pursue politics.
Tunisia is viewed as being ahead of most Arab countries on women’s rights, but there is still discrimination particularly in matters of inheritance.
Yosra Esseghir formed Chaml with a friend after finding a following on Facebook.
Before long, they decided to meet in public cafes and work together to create platforms for women to tell their own stories. It’s a way of thinking, of seeing the world,” said Esseghir.
This year has also seen a wave of progressive legislation for women’s rights.
At the end of July, the Tunisian parliament passed the Elimination of Violence Against Women law, designed to combat physical, economic, political and psychological violence against women.TUNIS: Tunisia has abolished a decades-old ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslims, the presidency said Thursday.