Princeton University Library Catalog

The Tunisian Revolution and Women’s Status Outcomes in the Law, Politics, and Media

Cumming, Hannah [Browse]
Senior thesis
Lockheed, Marlaine [Browse]
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs [Browse]
Class year:
129 pages
Summary note:
This thesis examines the outcomes of the Tunisian Revolution for women’s status through a four-part framework: the law, politics, traditional media, and social media. It bases its analysis on the principle that a democratic society requires not only a democratic system of government, with free and fair elections, but also the protection of human rights. This thesis concludes that the Tunisian Revolution has not yet significantly improved women’s status in the law, politics, or the traditional media, although it has offered women a new platform for political action through social media. These findings are based on a series of field interviews conducted in Tunisia, an extensive quantitative data review, the current academic literature on the topic, and a regular review of journalistic sources. Chapter Two, The Law, demonstrates that women’s progressive rights in the new Constitution have yet to produce practical, enforceable legislation. Chapter Three, Politics, recognizes the positive gains for women’s political representation, but also identifies ongoing forms of sexism and discrimination that fundamentally undermine women’s political status. Chapters Four and Five show that women face ongoing marginalization in the traditional media, but have used social media as a powerful platform for political action, earning them visibility and influence. Then Chapters Two through Five address policy recommendations to various actors in Tunisian politics and society, ranging from the government to legislators, to civil society, to political parties, to media outlets. In conclusion, this thesis addresses the potential obstacles to implementing these reforms, and concludes that patriarchal social norms pose the greatest challenge to achieving women’s equality.