Letter of Condolence: Ahlem Belhadj, a Global Thinker

Ahlem Belhadj, a Global Thinker

The Hague, 13th March 2023

Saddened and heartbroken we receive the news of the passing away of Dr. Ahlem Belhadj on March 11, 2023. We mourn the loss of a feminist icon and a profoundly treasured partner in Tunisia.

Dr. Belhadj, was known as a fierce champion for women’s rights serving as president, chair, and director of the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women (ATFD). Her tireless campaigns for better treatment of women and girls have made a lasting impact in Tunisia and beyond.

Dr. Belhadj led marches of thousands of women against former President Ben Ali contributing to his fall and Tunisia’s first-ever democratic elections, a historic moment which Gender Concerns International was honoured to witness and contribute to as a partner of ATFD.

Ahlem Belhadj was crowned as the 2012 winner of the Simone de Beauvoir Prize and was placed 18th on Foreign Policy’s 2012 list of global thinkers. She campaigned for new laws to be put in place against domestic violence. In 2015 her efforts brought about the freedom of Tunisian women and children to apply for their own passports.

Professionally being a renowned child psychiatrist her dedication and passion for justice and equality are an inspiration to women and human rights advocates around the globe. Going forward, we will continue to honour her legacy and our long partnership with ATFD by carrying on fighting for the rights for women in Tunisia and beyond.

To our partners in Tunisia, in solidarity and compassion we share your grief and extend our heartfelt condolences. It has been also a difficult time for me as I cherished the privilege to have known and worked with her personally. Alwida Ahlem, you will be missed dearly!

Sabra Bano