Women public and political participation in Tunisia. Samia Khadhraoui, working at UGTT. Credit: Ons Abid / Oxfam Novib

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Tunisia is the northernmost country in Africa, with a population of around 11 million people. In 2010 a popular uprising reacting to high unemployment, food inflation, corruption, lack of political freedoms and poor living conditions, led to the resignation and flight of the former dictator Ben Ali in January 2011. Tunisia is now considered the only full democracy in the Arab world, but it is going through a transition process which is not without its problems.

The country is characterized by a clear separation between coastal areas and inland, mountainous or desert, and is subject to hazardous weather conditions and high natural resource degradation. The gap between regions is also, above all, economic and social; economic development having benefited especially the coastal areas.

Oxfam in Tunisia

Oxfam has been present in the Maghreb region for decades, working closely with national civil society organizations. Following the revolution, Oxfam established an office in Tunisia in early 2012 to support the movement of civil society in the region and in Tunisia, including women's rights.

We also want to encourage the participation of the younger generation in public processes and decision making by supporting youth associations movements emerging across the country.

By promoting democracy and active citizenship, our goal is to promote social and economic rights through capacity building and support for the new democratic institutions. We also consider it essential to ensure free and secure access to information in order to promote active citizenship.

Our priorities

Oxfam's vision for Tunisia and the Maghreb cluster is as follows:

That the people of the Maghreb region, including the youth and women, fully enjoy their rights and participate actively in the management of public affairs, in an environment where inequalities are greatly reduced and in a space free of conflict.

Oxfam is concentrating on common themes in the region, namely gender justice, youth, social and governance policies and economic conflicts and humanitarian responses. For all of these themes, Oxfam will be proactive in developing a regional dimension to actions aimed at ensuring complementarity, especially in its role as influential actor.