The law in Tunisia now recognizes economic, sexual, political and psychological violence as others forms of violence against women apart from that which is physical, furthermore tt abolishes a clause that allowed rapists to escape punishment if they marry their victims.
Prior to the creation of this law the only progressive legislation in place was the ‘Code of Personal Status’ which was enacted in 1956, outlawed polygamy, set the minimum age for marriage, introduced the requirement of mutual consent between the parties to a marriage and established a judicial procedure for divorce.
This new law also provides for new protections mechanisms that allow survivors of domestic violence access to services and legal and psychological assistance.
Moreover this law stops perpetrators from avoiding prosecution for acts of violence that where once pardoned where the perpetrator married the victim.
As of July 26, 2017, this piece of legislation was passed with 146 votes out of 217 votes.
The passing of this law was made possible by Tunisian civil society and national institutions in collaboration with international organisations through their advocacy efforts.
“As a Tunisian woman, I am very proud that this law has been adopted. This is the climax of the steps that began through the adoption of the Code of Personal Status in 1956,” said Women’s Minister Naziha Laabidi.
While passing of the law marks a significant step in the right direction, translating it into practice through appropriate implementation measures and resources will be key to making a tangible difference to women’s lives.
Image: Women on the Frontline