'Obscene' Tunisia women's rally slogan sparks controversy

'We are all whores until patriarchy falls': Slogan divides opinions at Tunisia women's rights rally
2 min read
11 December, 2020
Basma Belaid, the widow of leftist opposition leader received backlash after standing next to an artist who held up an Arabic sign saying 'we are all whores until patriarchy falls'.
Basma Belaid [m] was condemned for standing next to Azza Slimane's [r] sign [Facebook]

Feminist activists in Tunisia sparked outrage after carrying a signpost saying “we are all whores until the patriarchy falls” in response to an MP 'slut-shaming' single women.

MP Mohamed Al-Afas caused widespread controversy last week when he claimed the feminist movement harms women's “purity” and that single women are “whores”.

He said that “immodest” women are “slaves to fashion” and temptresses for “immorality and fornication”, whereas Arab women who cover are “precious like a diamond”.

A number of Tunisian politicians asked to waive Al-Afas’ immunity, saying his speech was extremist and insulting to women. His speech was reviled among the general population, sparking protests.

Read also: Algerian actresses call foul on femicide

On Wednesday, the Association of Democratic Women organised a protest in front of parliament, where Tunisian artist Azza Slimene held up an Arabic sign saying: “We are all whores until patriarchy falls.”

Basma Belaid, the widow of leftist opposition leader Chokri Belaid, was photographed with Slimene and her sign, causing outrage at the “manner” in which the women expressed themselves.

The circulating photo sparked a wave of controversy among activists, with some accusing Belaid of insulting Tunisian women, whereas others called for another women's protest march against Slimene and Belaid so-called attempt to “monopolise and defame” the women’s cause.

Some accused the Democratic Women Association of raising "marginal" issues at a time when the country is suffering from corruption and economic and social decline.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay connected