Women's rights mini skirt protest fizzles in Tunisia

Tunisian rights group's initiative to protest repression of women in Muslim world receives support of few dozen women.

    Women's rights mini skirt protest fizzles in Tunisia
    Saturday's rally was organised by Tunisia's League for the Defence of Secularism and Freedom [EPA/STR]

    Only a handful of women have answered a call by a Tunisian rights' group to protest the repression of women in the Muslim world by demonstrating in mini skirts.

    Saturday's rally was organised by Tunisia's League for the Defence of Secularism and Freedom in response to an online campaign in Algeria a week ago which called on Algerian men to not let women revealing clothes appear in public.

    Rachid Ben Othman, the league's leader, launched a counterinitiative and created a Facebook event, calling on women worldwide to rally on June 6 wearing mini skirts.

    The Facebook page attracted thousands of "likes",  but only a few dozens of women attended the actual rally in Tunisia's capital.

    Protest organisers blamed the low turnout on women's fears of their families and of Islamists.

    "It is sad that we are moving backward," Lilia Kammoun, a teacher at the protest, told the AP news agency. "My mother used to wear a mini skirt. I used to wear a mini skirt. And today, my daughter is hesitating to wear one. That's unfortunate."

    Ines Ben Othman, another protester, said she was still wearing "whatever" she wanted. 

    "I don't really listen to what people say and I feel free to wear whatever I want. Now, could we have an accelerated Islamisation of the Tunisian society? Maybe," she said.

    Samir Abadi, a male spectator of the protest, said: "They have the freedom to wear what they want, so I don't know why they're doing this right now. They want to make people forget that there is a revolution."

    A different group of women, originally protesting for another issue on the other side of the city, attempted to highjack the mini skirt demonstration, by chanting slogans calling for women to dress modestly.

    SOURCE: AP


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