The Power of Words and Photos : Women's Activism on Facebook to Fight Violence in Tunisia
On August 13-2012, thousands of Tunisian women took to the streets of the capital after the end of the daytime fast to protest article 28 from the draft of the new constitution replacing equality by complementarity. The draft constitution was darfted by a Constituent Assembly dominated by Islamist Ennahda Movement deputies. Sharing photos and banners with slogans, the demonstrators in Tunis denounced the proposed article as an Islamist way to humiliate women, and reverse the principles of gender equality mentioned in the 1956 Constitution. Women won the battle the article 28 was repealed.
Tunisian women’s engagement online continues today. One of the major topic of Women'sFacebook activism is violence against girls and women. In order to raise awareness of gender based violence,the Tunisian Association for Democratic Women shared in 2016 a photo of a nude victim of domestic violence . Surprisingly, it was removed by the social media site. In response to this censorship, activists launched the "WARRI" campaign(show physical acts of violence). Images of undressed and bleeding women was sharedin the aim to create a supportive public opinion about all forms of violence against women. Yet, breaking the silence was the first step to transforming the culture of gender-based violence.However, the images shocked many Tunisians and have proved controversial in Tunisia, a largely socially conservative country.
This presentation seeks
-to understand the modes of production and representation that frame the campaign,
- to analyze some comments and misogynistic, religious content on Facebook pages related to this new form of digital activism.
-to highlight the challenge that feminist activists face once they use women bodies to campaign for law reform.
-to study the impact of this campaign on feminist movements as well as on society.
Dr.GRAMI is a professor of Gender Studies and Islamic Studies at The University of Manouba-Tunisia, a writer, and a human rights advocate. She has published academic articles and books in Arabic, English, and French. She raises awareness of issues surrounding women’s rights ,minorities' rights through media, round tables, group discussions, workshops, and seminars.
Dr.GRAMI’s research focuses on culture , society, religion and politics in MENA and the Middle East :Islamist movements, gender relations, culture expressions , media and social movements.