Tunisia achieved a score of 58.6 points out of 100 in the 2021 Regional Index on VAWG. Tunisia has a substantial legal arsenal to protect the rights of women and girls. In the past few years, Tunisia has made significant progress in combating violence against women and girls (VAWG). Tunisia ratified all articles of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). However, the Tunisian government declared that it shall not take any organisational or legislative decision in conformity with the requirements of this Convention where such a decision would conflict with the provisions of Chapter I of the Tunisian Constitution.
In 2014, Tunisia adopted a new Constitution widely considered the most progressive in the Arab world, as it stipulates that all citizens are equal before the law. However, while the Constitution is generally committed to “protecting the acquired rights of women and working on strengthening and developing these rights”, these enshrined principles were not immediately translated into legislative measures.
In 2017, the progressive comprehensive law on eliminating violence against women was enacted. The law brought a specific definition for VAWG that encompasses any harm to women, whether physical, psychological, sexual, or economic. It also contains multiple facets and includes the four dimensions pertaining to the elimination of violence against women: prevention and protection from violence, provision of support to victims, criminalisation of perpetrators, and coordination between State actors and ministries to refer cases of violence.
The Ministry of Women, Family, Childhood and Elderly organises the national awareness-raising campaigns on combating VAWG. Specialised services are provided to women victims of VAWG in 6 State-run shelters. Multi-sectorial protocols have been signed for protecting women victims of VAWG, including the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Affairs and Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Women, Family, Childhood and Elderly. These sectorial protocols include procedures for each sector in combating women victims of VAWG, as well as mechanisms for inter-sectorial coordination.
For more information, please download Tunisia National Report