dossier VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN :
SIGNIFICANT AND CONCRETE ADVANCES

The law to end violence
against women:
an essential step towards equal
rights between man and women

Dossier

Gender-based violence is a major societal phenomenon that affects all social categories. Worldwide, 35% of women have experienced physical and / or sexual abuse in their lives. In Tunisia, 48 per cent of women report having suffered at least one form of violence during their lifetime, and 73 per cent say they do not know where to go when they are victims of violence.

On 26 July 2017, the Tunisian parliament unanimously adopted an historic law to end violence against women. Dr Rym Fayala, UNFPA Assistant Representative in Tunisia, said on this occasion "By adopting the comprehensive law on violence against women, Tunisia has once again distinguished itself by its modernity and will to promote women's rights and gender equality. This historic progress places Tunisia in the front rank of Arab countries engaged to combat violence against women ".

This law adopts a broad definition of violence by taking into account physical, psychological, sexual, economic and political violence. Its approach is global and aims to:
- Prevent from violence against women,
- Provide Protection to victims at legal, physical and psychological level,
- Ensure the prosecution of the perpetrators of violence against women,
- Take care of the victims through specific accompaniment.

Among other practical dispositions, the law allows women victims of domestic violence to apply for protection against their aggressors without filing a complaint or requesting a divorce first. It guarantees the prosecution and penal sanction of the perpetrator of a rape or abduction of a woman, even if he marries her. It also integrates the implementation of curricula that promote the principles of human rights and gender equality.

Dr Rym Fayala, said with satisfaction "this law is the outcome of a collective commitment for human rights. It emphasizes the role and activities of UNFPA, particularly in advocacy, and underlines the capacity of the Tunisian government and parliament, international organizations and Tunisian civil society organizations to unite in favor of a project as progressive as necessary ".

dossier VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN :
SIGNIFICANT AND CONCRETE
ADVANCES

Joint program to improve
multisectoral services
for women and girls
victims/survivors of violence

Throw-back to the official event of presentation of the joint programme on multisectoral support to women and girls victims of violence

The promotion of women's rights and the fight against all forms of violence against women are at the heart of the national strategy to fight violence against women and in line with article 46 of the Tunisian Constitution. In this context, the Tunisian government and four civil society organizations in partnership with 08 UN agencies, including UNFPA as a lead agency developed a Joint Program for the Improvement of multi sectoral services for Women Victims of Violence, with the support of the Spanish Cooperation.

The Joint Program was signed on May 2017 and presented to the different partners and the media, on July 5 2017 in Tunis. In this event, Mrs Cherifa Eyssar Kochlef, Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ representative expressed her resolve and unconditional support for the Joint Program: "The Joint Program responds to a real need. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will dedicate all the energy needed for the implementation of this program in the best conditions in order to achieve its objectives ".

The joint program (870,000 USD over 2017-2018), will aim to improve multisectoral services addressing all forms of violence against women and girls: Physical, sexual, psychological and economic. It identified three strategic interventions:

  1. The governance and the coordination among the various actors involved in the care and the follow-up of women victims of violence
  2. The approach is multisectoral and will involve professionals in the health, justice, interior, social affairs, women, family and child affairs sectors.
  3. This will involve informing and sensitizing the public, the decision-makers, the service providers and the civil society organizations on violence against women and girls and essential care services in Tunisia.
  4. The approach is multisectoral and will involve professionals in the health, justice, interior, social affairs and women's family and child affairs sectors.
  5. This will involve informing and sensitizing the general public, the decision-makers, the service providers and the civil society organizations on violence against women and girls and essential care services in Tunisia.

The partners of this joint program are :
- Tunisian institutions : Ministry of Women, Family and Children; Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Justice; Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Health; National Office for Family and Population; Hospital Charles Nicolle; The Center for Research, Studies, Documentation, and Information on Women.
- United Nations agencies : UNFPA (lead agency), UN Women, WHO, UNDP, OHCHR, UNODC, IOM, UNHCR, UNIC.
- Civil Society Organizations : Beity, TAMSS (Tunisian Association for Management and Social Stability), Nebras (Tunisian Institute for the Rehabilitation of Torture Survivors), ATFD (Tunisian Association of Democratic Women).

For more information download the PDF here

dossier VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN :
SIGNIFICANT AND CONCRETE
ADVANCES

Opening of 3 new centers/shelters for women victims of violence

Dossier

Top: inauguration of the Tidar center in Zarzis. 19 August 2017
Bottom / right: Inauguration of the Massarat center in Jendouba. 14 August 2017
Bottom left: inauguration of the Horra wa Faâla center. 11 August 2017

In order to strive violence against women in concrete ways, appropriate facilities should be established to enable women to benefit from multisectoral services (physical, psychological, legal and social) and to be empowered. It is in this perspective that in 2016, local initiatives, led by six associations supported by the Ministry of women, Family and Children, the European Union and UNFPA, have enabled the creation and the scaling up of centers for women victims of violence and / or in situation of vulnerability. These centers offer the frame for a comprehensive and coordinated support for women victims of sexual, psychological, social and economic violence.

After the inauguration of 2 centers for women victims of violence last year, three other centers opened this summer: "Horra wa Faâla «in Gafsa (Southern Gafsa Development Association)," Massarat "in Jendouba (Association Massarat Nissaia) and TIDAR in Zarzis (Zarzis Association for Sustainable Development and International Cooperation). Another center, set up by the Tunisian Association for Management and Social Stability (TAMSS) and the UNFT (National Union of Tunisian Women), will open in Kairouan on October 2017.

These shelters offer to women victims of violence access to appropriate services :
- Listening, counseling and social, psychological and legal care;
- Accommodation, including their children;
- Orientation for multisectoral management;
- Orientation for multisectoral care;
- Vocational training and support for access to microloans for their socio-economic empowerment;
- Follow up on women who have been provided with services.

Nadia Ben Salah, Gender-Based Violence Project Officer, said at the inauguration of the Massarat Center in Jendouba on August 14 2017, "This center, like the other six supported by UNFPA, is a response to the pressing need to protect women victims of violence. We are confident that they will accomplish their mission successfully because they have been founded on strong sustainable partnerships”