WeWorld has been in Tunisia since 2012 to support the most vulnerable groups of the communities with projects aimed at strengthening civil society, women empowerment and the inclusion of young people. Furthermore, we are committed to strengthening the social and solidarity economy and governance of the country.
Tunisia has emerged as the only success story amid the uprisings of the Arab Spring, undergoing a rapid transformation towards democracy since 2011. Yet the country's political situation is fragile. From an economic point of view, almost all the parameters show a worse situation than in the period preceding the Arab Spring. The economic conditions of a large part of the Tunisian population, the regional inequalities as well as the social exclusion of young people represent a serious risk for the democratic transition.
In Tunisia, unemployment is high, particularly among women and young people, with very strong inter-regional disparities. To promote women's emancipation in the rural areas of Sidi Bouzid and Kasserine, we have supported the self-organisation in cooperatives and entrepreneurial activities for women. The beneficiaries, who have been adequately trained and accompanied on their emancipation journey, have created small businesses for the production of carpets, the marketing of dairy products and poultry farming. Through these actions we aim to ensure an economic autonomy that opens the way for gender equality in the rural areas.
Thanks to awareness-raising courses on rights and literacy, there have been important changes in women themselves, both in terms of awareness and autonomy, and in the community: more respect for women. Furthermore, the sense of belonging to a cooperative has helped improve the social status of the beneficiaries and create a positive role model.
In Tunisia we are committed to strengthening civil society and government institutions. Interventions in support of the social economy were accompanied by policy and advocacy actions to support an evolution of the law to promote solidarity entrepreneurship.
We focus on the involvement of civil society to strengthen the principles of good governance, participation and local democracy. This is why our organisation has decided to join and support a national campaign in defence of decree law 88 on the freedom of association, which is fundamental for the country's democratic transition. Furthermore, we work to improve the control mechanisms on the local institutions and the public administration.
The awful socio-economic conditions and the lack of prospects for Tunisian young people risk having immediate and negative consequences: in fact, this context makes young people more receptive to the messages of radical Islam. Although Tunisia figures as one of the most liberal countries in the Arab world, it has become a recruiting ground for these groups. To fight against this phenomenon, we work on the prevention of violent extremism and on the active involvement of young people.