Tunisia: International Conference on the participation of women and workshop on the draft Local Government Code

26 to 30 September 2017, Tunis

Gudrun Mosler-Törnström : “The historic changes in Tunisia offer great opportunities for democratic transformation and women’s participation” [27/09/2017]
Speaking at the opening of the Conference on 'Women and Local Government' in Tunis on 26 September, Congress President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström welcomed 'the deep changes that have taken place in Tunisia since 2011 and the historic opportunities they open up, particularly with regard to the participation of women '. While the Tunisian Constitution of 2014, the electoral law and the draft Local Government Code, currently under consideration by the Assembly of People's Representatives, pay close attention to the place of women, they remain strongly under- represented in public life. “Engaging all members in society and ensuring the participation of women is a fundamental requirement, especially in view of the first Tunisian municipal elections, because a society cannot be free and democratic if the liberty and dignity of half of its members are not guaranteed and upheld,” the Congress President highlighted. Sharing her experience as a local politician, she added that “ Tunisia is not alone in facing the issues of low participation of women. The situation in European countries is unfortunately not satisfactory either”. “The obstacles are not only political,' she added, and “a profound change in mentalities and cultures, rooted in centuries of tradition, is necessary.” “The integration of women into society is a long and difficult process that will require strong commitment from all actors, including local authorities,” she concluded. This Conference is co-organised by the Congress and the Directorate General of Democracy of the Council of Europe, the Tunisian Ministry of Women, Family and Children and the Ministry of Local Affairs and Environment. It is part of the co-operation project implemented by the Congress in Tunisia. 
Inger LINGE: The glass ceiling for women will only be gradually taken down [27/09/2017]
The Congress’s Spokesperson on Gender Equality, Inger LINGE (Sweden, EPP/CCE), took part in the Conference on 'Women and local government' in Tunis on 26 September 2017. She presented the international legal framework supporting the political participation of women at local level and the Council of Europe's main standards in this area. Having been involved in local political life for some 40 years, Inger LINGE recognised that there had been a distinct improvement in the statistics on women's participation in Europe, especially in the Council of Europe's 47 member States. However, she added that, even though the statistical data pointed to advances in quantitative terms, attitudes had not progressed in the same way. The integration and representation of women in local public life will not happen only because of laws, she said. Changes are also needed in public policies on schooling, families and information. She emphasised the need in this connection to provide training enabling women to develop their skills. Looking ahead to the first local elections in Tunisia, to be held in 2018, she stressed the importance of creating conditions in which women could become involved in politics. In response to the addresses by the Minister for Women and Families and the Minister for the Environment and Local Affairs, she welcomed Tunisia's ambitious commitment to the participation of women, particularly in the light of the Constitution, electoral legislation and the draft Local Authorities Code. 
Congress Vice-President Xavier CADORET meets Tunisian Secretary of State Sabri BACHTOBJI [28/09/2017]
During his visit to Tunis for a workshop on the draft Code of local authorities, Xavier CADORET, Congress Vice-President and alternate Spokesperson on the South-Med Partnership, and Jean-Philippe BOZOULS, Congress Director, met on 28 September Sabri BACHTOBJI, State Secretary of Foreign Affairs. The Vice-President reaffirmed the Congress readiness to support the decentralisation process in Tunisia, and recalled that holding in the near future the first municipal elections in this country, in principle early in 2018, will allow Tunisia's accession to the status of Partner for Local Democracy with the Congress and therefore participation of Tunisian local elected representatives in its work. For his part, the Secretary of State stressed that the local dimension was crucial for the success of Tunisia's democratic transition, and underscored the importance of the Congress' contribution in this respect. 
[02/10/2017]  Xavier Cadoret: “There is no real local self-government without decentralisation of competences and finances”
[25/09/2017]  Tunisia: International Conference on the participation of women and workshop on the draft Local Government Code



Photos in high resolution will be made available on the internet.

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
Dmitri Marchenkov, Head of the Mediterranean Partnership and Action Plan Armenia Unit
Mob: +33

Laura Esselin, Project assistant
Tel:  +33650392913