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Economic Revolution of Tunisian Women

Tunisia is unique among the Arabic world, with the advanced legislation on women’s rights. Tunisian women have gained basic rights of gender equality earlier than most of their European counterparts, starting from 1956, when Tunisia gained independence.
But these rights were mainly enjoyed by wealthier and more educated women. The lower income, lower educated women did not have the same access to rights, brought in with the top-down policies of the state.
With the Jasmine Revolution, the dictatorship in Tunisia ended, bringing a democratic system to the country. The previous government was strictly secular. Good conditions for women were brought in and protected by the state.
While the new era meant more democratic rights to people with free elections, a concern is also raised for women’s rights. Free elections also meant that strict secular state policies were not available anymore. When a pro-Islamic party became the largest one, concerns raised.
Out of these political situations in the country, a new development is also changing lives of many Tunisian women. The increasing involvement of women as entrepreneurs in the economic fabric is allowing their reach to more rights easier. With different reasons, many women are now starting their own businesses.
Compared to the top-down policies of the previous government, and the democratic consequences of Jasmine Revolution, this “Economic Revolution” may be even more successful in developing the position of Tunisian women.

  • Can Adiloglu
  • Can Adiloglu
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Revolution Economique de la femme tunisienne
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 31, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    900 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Arabic, English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, HD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Can Adiloglu

Can Adiloglu is an independent filmmaker and photographer based in Ankara, Turkey. He is originally a civil engineer, with his BSc. degree from Istanbul Technical University, and MSc. degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

He has started photography while he was still a student, but seriously started working afterwards. For some time, he has worked on black and white photography and zone system in workshops at AFSAD, Ankara Photography Artists’ Association. He has participated in the open workshop at Ka Atelier, and worked on a mixed exhibition.

He had jumped into serious filmmaking through training at Sinematek Association in Ankara, and studied film production, film making and screenwriting.

He is involved in the production of different documentaries and short films, and is planning to produce his feature films.

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Director Statement

On an invitation by ADCS, Association of Development and Social Communication of Tunisia, I have traveled to Tunisia, to film a short documentary for one of their social projects; on a voluntary basis. ADCS happened to watch one of my short films I recorded with refugee Syrian children in Turkey, and they believed that I could produce a documentary about the success stories of Tunisian women with them.

On a limited period of 5 days in Tunis, I interviewed 9 Tunisian women. It was a challenge to produce a documentary about a social topic in a foreign country, where local history and politics played a significant role. It required a lot of research both before and after my visit.

One big advantage was that Tunisia is very similar to my home country Turkey. Their republic was modeled after the Turkish republic, and the reforms for women's rights were based on the Turkish example. Moreover, their recent experience with a pro-Islamic party as the leading power in the country (taking the Turkish AK Party as a model), and the respective debates were quite familiar with what we have faced in Turkey. Those similarities allowed an easier understanding.

Women's rights and the gender gap are issues on all countries today. In a country like Tunisia, where the economic and social balance is still not achieved, it is a challenge for women to reach their rights. Thankfully, with more women establishing their own business', they are gaining economic independence, and becoming more knowledgeable and demanding for their rights.

Economic Revolution of Tunisian Women is telling their story, on how economic independence can empower women.