18 August 2012

Tunisia: Pace Rapporteur Calls On the Country to Amend Wording in Article 28 of Draft Constitution

Photo: La Presse
Tunisian National Assembly.

Tunis — Mrs. Fatiha Saïdi, Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on equality between women and men, Friday, called upon the Constituent Assembly in Tunisia to amend the wording of Article 28 in the country's draft constitution.

The text of the article, as approved by the Rights and Freedoms Committee of the Constituent Assembly, affirmed that women were 'complementary' to men.

"Inequality between men and women has no place in a democratic constitution," according to PACE Rapporteur.

She said dropping the concept of equality in favour of the concept of complementarity means challenging it, taking a step backwards from the situation enshrined in the 1956 Constitution and sending out a negative signal to Tunisian society and to other countries in the region.

"Equality between men and women does not imply that women and men are identical, but that they have the same dignity as human beings, that their rights and responsibilities are the same, independently of each other, and that they have the same opportunities," she added.

"This fundamental and universal principle which is too frequently infringed needs to be included in the text of the constitution," underlined the Rapporteur.

Mrs. Saidi, however, welcomed the fact that Article 28 of the draft constitution confirms Tunisia's commitment to combating the scourge of violence against women.

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