Press contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public contact: Mary-Jane Deeb (202) 707-1221
November 21, 2006
Status of Women in Tunisia Is Subject of Nov. 30 Symposium
Program Will Feature Presentation by Sandra Day O’Connor
A symposium titled "Tunisia: Celebrating Fifty Years of Women’s Emancipation" will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30, in Room 119 of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C.
The program is sponsored jointly by the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division and the Embassy of Tunisia. It is free and open to the public; tickets are not required. A light luncheon will be served.
Three prominent Tunisian women will participate in the program: Alifa Chaabane Farouk, Hayet Laouni and Mounira Charrad. They will discuss the history and impact of the Tunisian Code of Personal Status, one of the most liberal policies in the Muslim world.
Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will make a special presentation.
Alifa Chaabane Farouk is a member of the Executive Board of Tunisia’s ruling party, the Democratic Constitutional Rally, and ombudsman of Tunisia. She holds a doctorate in International Public Law from the Ludwig Maximilians Universität in Munich. She will discuss "Tunisian Women: From Legal Equality to Active Partnership in the Development of Modern Tunisia."
Hayet Laouni has founded a number of trading companies, including a joint venture with Danish ship owners Maersk-Tunisia and EXECO, an international trade company. She is currently a member of the Tunisian Senate. She will discuss "Women’s Rights in Tunisia: Moving Toward Equal Opportunity in Business."
Mounira Charrad is a professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, and the award-winning author of "State’s and Women’s Rights: The Making of Postcolonial Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco." Her presentation is titled "A Historical Perspective on Tunisian Women’s Rights."
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