Posted on | April 21, 2011 | No Comments
Some feared a rise of fundamentalist Islam in the countries swept by the so-called Arab Spring. And if indeed some extremist parties are getting more vocal in Egypt, the revolution is taking quite a different turn in Tunisia.
Indeed, the Al-Jazeera network revealed today that Tunisian parties for the July elections will have to boast an equal number of male and female candidates. Still relying on the Qatari agency, Tunisia seems to have a more progressive past than other Arab countries when it comes to gender equality – it also abolished polygamy officially in 1956.
This will put Tunisia a step ahead of many Western democracies, where gender representation in general elections is far from equal. In Canada for example, there are only 31% of female candidates in the upcoming elections, all parties included. This is still an improvement on 2008’s election, where women accounted for only 28% of candidates.