“Which women? What agenda?” Situating WPS in North Africa: the case of Tunisia


The debate on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda has taken root in Tunisia after the 2010-11 revolution, in the context of women’s push for democratic reforms and increasing non-state political violence. Although Tunisia adopted a National Action Plan (NAP) for implementing the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1325 (Res. 1325) in 2018, the WPS dossier has aroused little interest among civil society (CS) so far. This article aims to investigate the relationship between the international agenda and local change. On the one hand, it analyses the extent to which the WPS debate and practice is representative of Tunisian women’s needs, perspectives and expectations, trying to unpack the issue of which women and what agenda they advance and represent. On the other, it examines the main achievements and challenges in terms of implementing the 2018 NAP in an effort to discern whether this Plan is reframing the concept of security in Tunisia.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20398573v8n1p121

Keywords: Res. 1325, 2011 uprising, participation, securitarian paradigm, women’s agency


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List of Interviews

Interview 1. UNDP, local official, 24 April 2020, remotely.

Interview 2. Embassy of Finland to Tunisia, local official, 22 May 2020, remotely.

Interview 3. Local Association (Tunis), representative, 24 June 2020, remotely.

Interview 4. ESCWA, local official, 26 June 2020, remotely.

Interview 5. UN Women, local official 1, 3 July 2020, remotely.

Interview 6. Oxfam Novib, local official, 6 July 2020, remotely.

Interview 7. Gender expert and advisor, 6 July 2020, remotely; 26 October 2021, remotely.

Interview 8. Ministry of Agriculture, member of the Technical Committee, 30 July 2020, remotely.

Interview 9. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, member of the Steering Committee, 24 August 2020, remotely.

Interview 10. Ministry of Public Health, member of the Technical Committee, 26 August 2020, remotely.

Interview 11. Local Association (Tunis), member of the Technical Committee, 26 August 2020, remotely; 28 October 2021, remotely; 19 May 2022, in presence.

Interview 12. Ministry of Women, Family and Children, member of the Steering Committee, 26 August 2020, remotely.

Interview 13. UN Women, local official 2, 27 August 2020, remotely.

Interview 14. Local Association (Zarzis), member of the Technical Committee, 29 August 2020, remotely.

Interview 15. Local Association (Jendouba), member of the Technical Committee, 3 September 2020, remotely.

Interview 16. Local Association (Medenine), member of the Technical Committee, 8 September 2020, remotely.

Interview 17. Assembly of People’s Representatives, parliamentarian, 9 September 2020, remotely.

Interview 18. CAWTAR, member of the Technical Committee, 9 September 2020, remotely.

Interview 19. African Women’s Forum, regional representative, 15 September 2020, remotely.

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