Dr.Rym Fayala Assistant Representative

July 26, 2017 is a historic date for women in Tunisia. Tunisian parliament has passed an organic law to end violence against women.

The law repositions violence against women in the public area, recognizes all forms of violence, strengthens the repression of perpetrators of violence and breaks with article 227bis of the Penal Code that allowed the aggressor to avoid rape sanctions and punishment if he marries the victim. We are proud of this progress, as UNFPA is deeply engaged in advocacy and supported national partners in favor of this law.

Respect for human rights, for human dignity is what this law outlines and will continue to shape through our activities.

UNFPA Tunisia is satisfied to have designed and launched on July 5th, the joint program with national and international partners, to improve the multi sectoral services for women and girls victims/survivors of violence. We have also significantly contributed to the creation of seven centers for women victims of violence, spread over six governorates, two of which have been operational since the beginning of 2017, and four others inaugurated during the summer. The seventh center will be operational in October 2017.

Furthermore, World Population Day was an opportunity for UNFPA Tunisia to organize, in partnership with the National Office for Family and Population (ONFP) and the Tunisian Association of Reproductive Health (ATSR), a roundtable on the challenges for an equitable access of the Tunisian population to contraception. This event helped sensitize the media and more than 100 key actors in sexual reproductive health’s sector - policy makers, health professionals, researchers, civil society representatives.

Youth was also at the heart of our activities, through the organization of the National Conference on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in Tunisia, in partnership with the Arab Institute of Human Rights (AIHR) and the Tunisian Association of Reproductive Health. This event was an occasion to carry out a huge advocacy work for the integration of CSE into the school curricula. Otherwise, International Youth Day was an opportunity to draw the attention to youth positive role in peace building through an outdoor screening of movies.

It is essential that I pay tribute again to Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA Executive Director, who has dedicated his life to the health and rights of women and girls around the world. His commitment and his actions in favor of human rights will remain engraved in our memories.