"To all the girls out there: say no to violence!"
Girl Guides from Tunisia write a letter to all the girls around the world encouraging them to stand up for themselves and speak out against violence.
"You are beautiful and powerful, defend yourself!"
Hanine, a national trainer from Tunisia who attended a Stop the Violence ACTIVATE event in October 2015, made a strong impact during a recent Girl Guide spring camp that took place in her community. Using her knowledge from the ACTIVATE she delivered an advocacy session for the group.
Making use of a popular non-formal learning technique she arranged a role play featuring a husband who was accused of committing domestic violence against his wife. The role play ran like a court scene and the participants took on the roles of different characters in the story, including the defense and prosecution lawyers.
Tunisia is often considered to be a pioneer for women's rights within the Arab World, however recent years have seen a huge increase in reporting of cases of sexual violence against women and girls, largely thought to have been facilitated by the government finally conducting its first ever survey of violence against women and girls in 2010. The study found that 47% of women aged 18 - 64 have experienced at least one form of violence in their lifetime and research is beginning to surface showing the true extent of state sanctioned sexual violence. This just goes to show the culture of silence that exists around gender-based violence in the country - something that Hanine and her fellow national trainers are working hard to break.
"I was surprised because I gave them 15 minutes to prepare themselves and they did all that, and then did not want it to end. They were all trying to defend their ideas."
Hanine was careful to make sure that she facilitated the discussions in a way that allowed the participants to share their own ideas but also led them to realise that violence can never be justified. In the end the group came to the conclusion that the husband was wrong for committing the violence and they felt inspired to write a letter to all the girls in the world, letting them know that violence is never ok:
Girl Guides in Tunisia are currently finalising a partnership with UN Women Tunisia to implement the Voices against Violence curriculum nationwide, including in universities where there are Girl Guiding groups set up with a focus to work on social justice issues, such as violence against women and girls. The association will engage both girls and boys and are working hard to adapt the curriculum to their national context where violence against women and girls is considered to be the norm.