Reflection of my Tunisia Trip

Prior to getting notice from OIYP about the Gender Justice Project, I had no idea where Tunisia was, Google map indicated that it located in North East Africa near the Mediterranean Sea between Libya and Algeria. When I applied for the Gender Justice Project, I knew that I would be selected. I am currently working on a project funded by the Gender Division of Aus Aid and my own research project is under the umbrella of Gender and women empowerment. This project would be essential in terms of data collection. Was I ever right!J

Just getting to Tunisia was an adventure all on its own from visa hiccups and luggage displacement, all of which I believe are lessons in life that one must learn one way or another. Gina and I were met by Nesrine Triki and her husband at Carthage International Airport. From the onset, Nesrine appeared to be a very strong women, I admired her demeanour and the aura that surrounded her. In the next two weeks that we would stay in Tunis, I discovered that other action partners especially the girls admired Nesrine as well and reflected that she is a woman of strong character, determined and an action partner as well. 

The first week of the workshop was quite intense, I’m still processing all the information shared and learnt. Of the topics covered, my favourites were definitely “dismantling patriarchy” and “feminist economics.” Sometimes it take a good conservation with the right people to put everything into perspective and realize what type of society we are living in and how we as agents of change can contribute to social change.

The highlight of my Tunisia Trip would be the opening march of the World Social Forum. Protesting through the city streets of an Arab country is something I never imagined I would do in my lifetime! Although I did not understand half of what the other protestors were chanting, I did understand what my fellow action partners and I were shouting. It will be a long while before I forget, “a, anti, anti-capitalista!” and “don’t tell me what to wear, teach your son not to rape!” On that chilly winter afternoon, I saw people from so many different countries, marching, chanting, displaying banners for reasons they believe were significant for a brighter tomorrow. And although we may be from different countries, cultures and ethnicities, we are all human and all humans regardless of whatever their situation or circumstance have rights, rights that need to be recognized at all costs.