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Hope College

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Program Name

Tunisia: Emerging Identities in North Africa

Abstract

Although democracies look different across the world, they all share a few things in common. One of the biggest factors which contributes to a strong democracy is an active and engaged civil society. Without people upholding the government and keeping them accountable for their actions, government officials feel they can do as they wish. Tunisia has recently undergone a democratic transition and is working on forming a stable democracy. Since the fall of the Ben Ali regime, civil society organizations have sprung up all over the country. These organizations are working to safeguard the principles of the new constitution and the new democracy in Tunisia. Women are the driving force behind these civil society organizations. It is these organizations and the women directing them that are seeking to ensure democratic principles apply to everyone in Tunisia. By examining the rights of women, we can examine the strength of a democracy. This study seeks to do just that by analyzing women’s involvement in civil society prior to and after the revolution. Two organizations in particular that aim to increase women’s political participation in politics are examined, Aswat Nissa and the League of Tunisian Women Voters.

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Political Science | Politics and Social Change | Women's Studies