UN Expert group calls for guarantees on gender equality and women's rights in Tunisia's constitutionListen /
There's been a call for the Government of Tunisia to adopt stronger constitutional provisions on gender equality and non-discrimination, and to implement temporary special measures to accelerate increased participation of women in all spheres of life.
The head of the United Nations Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice Kamala Chandrakirana, expressed concern "at the persistence of loopholes and ambiguities in the current draft of the Constitution which, if not removed, might undermine the protection of women's rights and the principle of gender equality".
She said "While equality between men and women is recognized, the prohibition of discrimination, including on the ground of sex, is not articulated in the second draft constitution, and there is a lack of provision on the right to remedy".
At this very important time whenTunisiais deliberating on a national scale on a new foundation for its country, the government should ensure that every single individual – men and women – can express their opinion in safety.
The Working Group said it recognized that the new Constitution is seen as a vehicle to rectify past injustices and inequalities, secure existing gains and further advance justice, democracy and human rights, including the rights of women in Tunisia, but warned that the current draft constitution fails to refer to the international human rights obligations to which Tunisia is bound.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.