Tunisia Municipal Elections: A Great Step towards Gender Parity

The local elections held in Tunisia on 6th of May are the first municipal elections to be held since the Jasmine revolution in 2011. In the structure enshrined in the 2014 Constitution municipalities are the first level of governance, therefore this is a constructive step and a further milestone in the consolidation towards stable democracy.

As an organisation that observed the2011and2014national elections in Tunisia from a gender perspective, providing recommendations for gender-inclusive electoral reform, Gender Concerns International lauds the progress shown in these elections regarding gender parity in the electoral system. Following the adoption of the electoral law on gender parity, 49% of candidates in the local elections were women.

Furthermore, with Ms. Souad Abderrahim gaining most votes in the municipality of Tunis, the country’s capital seems set for its first ever female mayor. However, the victory of Ms. Abderrahim has sparked a debate in Tunisia questioning women’s position at leading government positions. This illustrates that the support for gender equality in the country is imperative to safeguard the progress that has been achieved.