Our Partner in Tunisia, joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize: an inspiration for us to continue our work

Najoua Makhlouf, President of the Women's Committee of the UGTT, an Oxfam partner marches alongside other women's rights activists at the demonstration for parity in the electoral law in Tunisia. Photo: LET
Najoua Makhlouf, President of an Oxfam partner organisation, the Women's Committee of the UGTT, marches alongside other women's rights activists at the demonstration for parity in the electoral law in Tunisia. Photo: LET

It's no minor task to follow the steps of Malala Yousafi and other great figures, however that is what the Quartet of Tunisian organizations have just accomplished by being awarded  the Nobel Peace Prize for its “decisive contribution to the establishment of a pluralist democracy in Tunisia. "

The Quartet includes the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), the Tunisian League of Human Rights (LTDH), the Tunisian Union of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) and the Order Lawyers. As partners of the UGTT, Oxfam is convinced that the winners are worthy of this award. Through them, we greet and invite all the forces of Tunisia to continue in the same direction.

A tribute to civil society as a whole

Through dialogue, the Quartet enabled Tunisia to avoid a serious political crisis. At the end of discussions, a roadmap was adopted enabling the formation of a government of "national competencies", the adoption of a new constitution and the establishment of a calendar for elections

Oxfam welcomes this international recognition which pays tribute to Tunisian civil society at large for its role as an agent of change and recognizes all the efforts to make Tunisia a democratic country and  to promote dialogue as a means of conflict prevention and peaceful resolution.

Active citizenship and social justice

This award confirms Oxfam’s commitment to continue its programs, alongside Tunisians in the way they have taken to build the rule of law and a state which is accountable to its citizens. 

This distinction also shows our strategic choice in positioning ourselves as a partner and ally of Tunisian civil society, old and emerging, by investing in strengthening their capacities, supporting their influencing and advocacy efforts and being a convener of joint initiatives and exchange platforms which  jointly promote social and gender justice, active citizenship and  the expansion of public space of expression and the influence of civil society, which are the fundamental axes of our intervention in Tunisia.

Women on the front line

For two years, as part of the "Women on the Frontline" project, Oxfam has been working with the Women Commission of the UGTT. The participation of women in public and political space and the rights of women in the Middle East and North Africa are at the core of this project. Ambitious and unique, this initiative aims to create a women's leadership in the labour movement across all regions. Oxfam welcomes its partnership with the UGTT. Jointly, we are actively working to push the boundaries in a traditionally male environment.Oxfam is convinced of the extraordinary potential of the different components of Tunisian civil society and intends to continue to support it to become, more than ever, a key player in which women and young people are on the frontline

Article by the Oxfam in Tunisia team.