Public debate is sparked around strengthening sexual harassment law

A new draft law has been published on the elimination of violence against women and includes the threat of imprisonment for sexual harassment offences. These tougher sanctions reflect troubling figures recording violence against women in Tunisia.

The proposals have sparked a public debate with some taking to social media to express their opposition. This response highlights the practical difficulties, if the draft law is approved by parliament, to its eventual implementation. For example, whether it will improve the status of women - even where harassment is criminalised and any form of discrimination against women in the workplace is prohibited – without cultural attitudes changing at the same time.

Race discrimination proposal

At the same time, a group representing civil society and some MPs have initiated a project to introduce legislation eliminating all forms of discrimination based on colour, ethnicity, religion, social and family membership. The objective is to ensure equality between all and ensure respect for human dignity, by prosecuting the perpetrators of discrimination. The law would apply in the public and private sectors.

Pension Act: raising the retirement age

The Ministry of Social Affairs has provided details of a project providing for the optional raising of the statutory retirement age. This is designed to secure acquired rights of current generations while ensuring the sustainability of the social security system given the ongoing financial challenges experienced by the country. However, the UGTT union continues to voice its opposition until there is consensus on the project.