Women in Peace and Transition Processes: Tunisia (2013-2015)
The role of women in resolving Tunisia’s post-“Arab Spring” political crisis, which peaked in 2013, was limited, but not insignificant. Institutionalized influence was very limited: there was no formal inclusion of women’s groups in the main negotiations of the 2013/2014 National Dialogue and the influence of organized advocacy was also limited in the pre-negotiation and implementation phases. For example, the women’s caucus formed in the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly (Tunisia’s Parliament from the end of 2011 to 2014, hereafter NCA) could not prevail over party politics and was not institutionalized. However, individual women played decisive roles in all three phases: one of the four main civil society mediators, who not only facilitated the main negotiations, but also initiated the dialogue process and held consultations to determine the agenda in the pre-negotiation phase, was a woman, (Ouided Bouchamaoui President of the Tunisian Union of Industry, Commerce and Crafts (UTICA), from 2011 to 2018). A small number of women represented political parties in the negotiations of the National Dialogue. And women were active in consultations and commissions concerning the National Dialogue, before, in parallel or after the main negotiation period, for example in the consensus committee of the National Constituent Assembly. Moreover, women (and here also organized women’s groups) actively took part in mass mobilization, concerning both women’s rights and the political transition in general.