Social media users have blasted the UAE as sexist and racist after the Gulf state banned Tunisian women from entry.
Emirates airline stopped accepting Tunisian women on Dubai-bound flights on December 22.
Tunisia responded to the airline’s move on Sunday, suspending all Emirates flights to and from the North African country.
The transport ministry said in a statement on its Facebook page the suspension would remain until Emirates “can find a suitable solution to operate its flights in accordance with international laws and treaties”.
The ministry previously described the move as illegal.
The UAE has cited security as the reason for the travel restriction, and Emirates said it will stop flying to Tunisia as instructed from Monday.
But critics have said the move was discriminatory and lashed out at the UAE.
A discussion is taking place under two hashtags on social media: #Nowomennofly and #تونس_تؤدب_الامارات, which means #TunisiadisciplinestheUAE.
Firas Bouzguenda wrote on Twitter: “Emirates: No women. Tunisia: No fly”
@khulafiii said it was “amazing” that Tunisia had responded strongly.
@ryma12 took the opportunity to give a brief history lesson, noting achievements in Tunisia to mock the UAE. She said women were given the vote in 1957, years before the UAE was founded.
“Never underestimate a nation that started a revolution … that spread across the Middle East,” said Shaima Dallali, a law student.
Never underestimate a nation that started a revolution… that spread across the Middle East .#تونس_تودب_الامارات
— Shaima Dallali (@ShaimaDallali) December 25, 2017
Tunisian journalist Dalila Musaddiq said: “Backwardness can’t be cured with high-rise towers, a French Louvre museum or man-made islands.”
Sarah Elamin praised the men who defended Tunisian women against “discrimination by Emirates”.
— sayruh ✨ (@Saraa_Elamin) December 24, 2017
“I don’t mean to applaud basic decency but it’s just so refreshing to see Arab men not being absolute trash for once,” Elamin wrote in a follow-up tweet.
Flah Marwa also said the issue centred on the discrimination of women.
This is not only discrimination against Tunisian women it is discrimination against all the women in the world!! Today Tunisian women tomorrow it will be you the one!#boycottemirates
— flah marwa (@maoi24) December 24, 2017
Haithem Afli called the move by Emirates an “act of sexism and stupidity”.
In an act of sexism and stupidity, the Emirates bans all Tunisian WOMEN regardless of age from using UAE airports even in a transit with no given reasons whatsoever. It's not only an insult to Tunisian women, it is an insult to ALL women worldwide.#PetroDolar #NowomanNofly pic.twitter.com/nV9LMRSpTD
— Haithem Afli (@AfliHaithem) December 25, 2017
Yosr Jouini, an aspiring data scientist, joined those calling for a boycott of the airline.
— Yosr (@thisisyosr) December 24, 2017
Olfa Said noted that the American actor Jennifer Aniston appears in Emirates advertising, and questioned the celebrity’s opinion on the issue.
A message for Jennifer Aniston. As women, I wonder what's your opinion of banning Tunisian women's from traveling in fly emirates especially because you are their media face? #تونس_تودب_الامارات #jenniferaniston
— olfa said (@olfasaid1) December 24, 2017