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Photo by Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tunisian Women March Against Gender-Based Violence Under the #EnaZeda Movement

The march comes after a newly-elected politician was allegedly seen on video masturbating outside of a school.

This past Saturday, hundreds of Tunisian women took to the streets of Tunis in protest against gender-based violence in the country, according to the BBC. Under the banner of #EnaZeda, the Arabic translation of the #MeToo movement, the women urged the government to exercise political will in ending violence against women and carried brooms to symbolize the "sweeping away" of gender-based violence. The march comes after a video and images emerged which allegedly showed the newly-elected member of parliament, Zouheir Makhlouf, masturbating outside of a school in October.


Saturday's march was reportedly organized by at least 50 local NGOs including the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women (ATFD). Although Makhlouf has since denied the allegations against him citing that he was urinating in a bottle as a result of his diabetic condition, the #EnaZeda movement has grown in numbers and allowed Tunisian women to share their personal experiences and accounts of having survived being abused while challenging so-called taboos online.



In July of 2017, Tunisia passed its first national law to end violence against women—a historic moment for Tunisian women. Naziha Labidi, the Minister of Women, Family and Childhood commented on the law saying that, "As a Tunisian woman, I am very proud that this law has been adopted. This is the climax of the steps that began through the adoption of the Code of Personal Status in 1956."

Additionally, numerous accounts of children being sexually harassed by family members continue to emerge. The Jerusalem Post reports that lawyer Fadoua Brahem points out that the country's nonchalant culture with regards to addressing child abuse is part of the problem. "In Tunisia, the sanctity of a child's body is not respected," Brahem says. She adds that, "A victim needs to have the psychological and financial tools to seek justice–it's not set up to be available to everyone."

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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