Souad Abderrahim was a remarkable 53-year old pharmaceutical manager before she got elected by Tunis’ municipal office. She obtained 26 votes, 4 votes more than her opponent, Nidaa Tounes.
“Abderrahim’s victory is one for the cause of women. It’s empowering in the sense that women can aspire now to be mayors and have leadership positions, regardless of their political affiliation or where they came from,” Ben Abdullah, a 27-year-old Tunisian woman and worker at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, told The National.
For a lot of people, women shouldn’t be leaders, let alone be mayors of big cities. As expected, Abderrahim received a lot of critique. The arguments against her position are diverse, but the same in nature. Women aren’t made to be leaders, they are too emotional and female leadership goes against Islamic values. Fortunately, sexist comments like these didn’t have an effect on her course or her goals. For Souad, it’s time for Tunisian women to be proud of themselves.
Tunisia is one of the most progressive countries in the Arab world. Recently, Tunisian Muslim women obtained the right to marry with non-Muslims. The country is often referred to as an example for other Islamic countries, because of its more open-minded and liberal policies.
This article was written by Ghofrane Sbai