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Tunisia: MP criticized for insulting women during parliament session

7-12-2020

The deputy from the Dignity Coalition close to An Nahda party, Mohamad Afas, launched a fierce attack on personal status law in Tunisia during a hearing on the ministry of women’s budget. He said this law makes women a cheap, open commodity, labeling feminist organizations as women traffickers. This stand prompted a number of lawmakers to withdraw from the session in protest over their colleague’s speech. They denounced him for exceeding all limits and violating the constitution which recognizes the Tunisia as a civil state. Commenting on Afas statement, the head of the Free Constitutional Party, Abir Moussa, described his intervention as a scandal, calling for the dismissal of the women’s minister who did not object to such insults. Similarly, the “Aswat Nisaa” association viewed Afas speech as verbal and moral violence against women, demanding an apology, above all, from all Tunisian women, and requesting that he respects the constitution and Law 58 on combating violence against women. In turn, the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women condemned Afas statements, dubbing him as an extremist who disguises under the cover of the civil state which guarantees freedoms in order to promote his fundamentalist ideologies. The association went on to say that the Brotherhood-afilliated lawmaker has kept on hurling accusations of treachery against all organizations advocates of women’s rights and freedoms, pigeonholing them as marketers of decadence and immorality. (Al Diyar, December 6, 2020)

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