Ghanmi, Azza

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Tunisian feminist activist.

In 19781979, Azza Ghanmi joined other feminist activists to found the Club d'Etude de la Condition de la Femme at the Club Tahar Haddad. Restricted to women only, the group debated the condition of women in Tunisian society. The institution of the Tunisian Code of Personal Status, promulgated in 1956 as part of Habib Bourguiba's modernization program, had granted women a number of rights making them equal citizens (for example, the stipulation of minimum marriage ages, requirement of personal consent to marriage, prohibition of polygamy, the right to vote, women's full legal capacity to enter contracts, and women's right to education and work). However, everyday social practices remained patriarchal.

In the early 1980s Ghanmi, along with other activists, participated in the group Femmes Démoc-rates, which emerged in response to political events such as the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the massacres at Sabra and Shatila. She contributed to its feminist journal Nissa, and eventually became the secretary general of the Association Tunisienne des Femmes Démocrates (AFTD), instituted in1989. Ghanmi has been an outspoken advocate of the rights of the child and of women's human rights, especially in the context of compliance with the international Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to which Tunisia is a signatory.

See also gender: gender and law; gender: gender and politics; human rights; newspapers and print media: arab countries; tunisia; tunisia: political parties in.


Dwyer, Kevin. Arab Voices: The Human Rights Debate in the Middle East. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.

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