Société | 3 mai 2018

Tunisian women as business leaders: challenges and opportunities

De Manel Mselmi
min

Women in Tunisia have always fought for their rights since Bourghiba's era and the Tunisian constitution of 2014 witnessed a huge improvement in terms of gender equality and women's rights. Even though, the constitution guaranteed so many rights, it doesn't mention the right of Muslim women to marry non-muslims or the equal rights in terms of succession. 

Last year, right after women's day in Tunisia, the president decided to end the ban which prohibits Tunisian women from marrying non-muslim men despite the violent critiques of Alazhar 's scholars. This year, civil society organisations are determined to put pressure on the government to implement gender equality regarding succession, a measure which is unique in the Arab and Muslim world.

In fact, Tunisian women suffer from gender discrimination in business and implementing the right to have an equal succession would help them to fight against gender discrimination and poverty. A march was organised on March 10th following women's international day to claim gender equality in succession.

According to the "women entrepreneurship: priorities and opportunities between regional and national" report, only third of the start-ups found by women survives in comparison to men. In fact, the Tunisian society encourages the business culture but it doesn't put into practice a framework to encourage Female leadership in Business. Two third of university graduates are women which means that women are highly qualified. However, only 8% of Tunisian companies are led by women. Having women in key positions such as Aziza Htira, the CEO of the Export Promotion Center or Wided Bouchamaoui, the leader of the Tunisian Confederation of industry, Trade and Handicrafts and one of Nobel Peace Prize 2015 winner together with the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, who is also identified by Jeune Afrique as top of the 25 business women in Africa is inspiring to young female entrepreneurs.

 There should be a political agenda which promotes, coaches and helps women in Business since the economic situation of the country relies heavily on entrepreneurship to get out of the crisis and fight against the youth unemployment crisis.

Tunisian women are one of the main leaders in civil society organisations, politics and leading administrative positions in the Arab and Muslim world. Nevertheless, the business leadership remains a field in which women need more financial, political and social support.

 

04/05/2018 - Any reproduction, copy, transmission or translation of this publication is prohibited.


Tunisia's National Dialogue Quartet representatives pose as they leave the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, December 8, 2015
De Manel Mselmi

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