The Evolution of the Status of Women in Tunisia (On the 75th Anniversary of Tunisia’s Declaration of Independence)

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In the article, in the context of the recognition of socio-cultural determinants of gender history and critical analysis of foreign studies by the author, an attempt was made to generalize the evolution of the position of women in Tunisia in the 20th and early 21st centuries. It is the Tunisian version of solving the problem of women’s emancipation that most modern researchers consider as the most successful example for the Islamic world. The views of well-known feminists and representatives of the Islamic world regarding actualization of the problem are presented. The influence of the French authorities on the manifestations of the ideas of Western feminism, as well as the influence of Islamic reformists on the problems of women’s education and women’s participation in social and political life, is shown.

In the course of the research, the author substantiates the following conclusions, namely: during the century, the social evolution of Tunisian society was determined by the process of adaptation and change of traditional socio-cultural foundations to new historical conditions. The established secular regime, after the proclamation of the Republic, for a decade was under pressure from the Islamic opposition, which initially existed in a cultural and educational form, and in the last decade of the 20th century took shape as a political one. The history of the last decade of the Republic shows that socio-cultural traditions have become the most important mechanism for the formation of intellectual and political values that contribute to national unity. This process determined both the nature and the stages of the women’s movement, which was formed during the period of the national liberation struggle, being its component. After the declaration of independence, Tunisian women de jure received political and social rights. There was a process of organizational design of the women’s movement, but this movement experienced decades of paternalistic control during the rule of Habib Bourguiba.

A qualitatively new stage is associated with the presidency of Ben Ali and his politics: from “managed democracy” to a totalitarian regime, which led to the formation of a female political opposition. As mentioned above, the events of the 2010s opened perspectives in the issues of overcoming gender asymmetry.


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Hladchenko, S. (2022) “The Evolution of the Status of Women in Tunisia (On the 75th Anniversary of Tunisia’s Declaration of Independence)”, Problems of World History, (19), pp. 114–122. doi: 10.46869/10.46869/2707-6776-2022-19-7.
Author Biography

S. Hladchenko

Hladchenko Svitlana – Ph.D. in History, Associate Professor of Odesa Military Academy


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