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International IDEA and UN Women supporting ISIE initiative to monitor violence against women during 2019 Tunisian elections

September 20, 2019 • By Emna Zghonda
Image credit: International IDEA

The Tunisian electoral authority (ISIE), with the support of International IDEA, UN Women and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), launched a guiding document on 'Violence against women in elections' for its staff monitoring electoral campaigns, on 4 September 2019.

The document demonstrates ISIE's commitment to the elimination of all forms of violence against women in accordance with Article 48 of the 2014 Tunisian Constitution. The document is based on the electoral law (Law No. 16/2014 as amended) and the law on the elimination of violence against women (Law No. 58/2017), which entered into force in 2017 and punishes all forms of violence against women, including political violence.

As part of its mandate to monitor election campaign activities, ISIE will identify violations of any form that constitute electoral violence against women, whether as candidates or voters, as per the electoral law, and will also extend its monitoring to women observers, journalists, and ISIE staff under the law on the elimination of violence against women.

The ISIE adopted a participatory approach for the production of this document by inviting representatives of the Peer Council (attached to the Ministry Presidency) in charge of gender equality; civil society representatives; academics; and experts all representing the three partner organizations (International IDEA, UN Women and UNDP) to participate in a workshop. The participants came together to discuss the main lines of action that the document should include regarding cases of violence against women during the electoral process for ISIE 's attention and action. The inputs and recommendations made at the workshop were duly considered and culminated in the 4 September public launch.

According to Ms Hasna Ben Slimane, Commissioner of ISIE, "it was important to launch this document during the presidential election campaign, but the impact will be even higher during the parliamentary election campaign which will begin on 14 September 2019 in view of the number of women candidates stipulated by the legal obligation of parity of the electoral lists."

It is envisaged that the same document will be presented at the launch of the Arab gender network for elections, scheduled for 5 October 2019 in Tunis. The October event is made possible by the partnership betweeen the Arab Organization for Election Management Bodies (Arab EMBs), International IDEA ,and UNDP Regional Project.  It will bring together representatives of 12 election management bodies from the Arab region.

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About the authors

Emna Zghonda
Senior Programme officer
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