On the occasion of the observance by Tunisia of the International Women’s Day, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali sent the following message to Mrs Aziza Htira, the chairwoman of the National Union of Tunisian Women (UNFT)
“It is my pleasure, as Tunisia celebrates along with the entire international community International Women’s Day, to extend to you, and to the members of the Union’s executive board, my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes.
It is also my pleasure to extend my regards to all Tunisian women at home and abroad, wishing them many happy returns, in welfare and prosperity.
Thanks to a happy coincidence, the celebration of International Women’s Day comes this year with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the International Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women as well as coinciding with Tunisia’s presidency, in the person of Mrs Leila Ben Ali, of the Arab Women Organisation.
For a two year period, our country will thus be the capital of Arab women, a fact which constitutes a renewed opportunity to highlight Tunisia’s pioneering role in this field both at the Arab and regional scale, and to reaffirm its capacities in improving women’s conditions in all fields.
We have relentlessly endeavoured to promote women’s rights in Tunisia, in continuation of an uninterrupted process of reforms and modernisation. We have consolidated the presence of women in all sectors of activity and production.
We have reinforced their position in the responsibility and decision-making posts, out of conviction that there can be no real and efficient development, within the family and society, without women’s participation. I am convinced that Tunisian women are fully aware of the importance of the forthcoming political events in Tunisia, on top of which the 2009 presidential and legislative elections. I am also persuaded that Tunisian women are entirely ready to contribute to the success of these great events and strengthen the pluralist, democratic process in Tunisia.
While expressing consideration to the UNFT for its rich activist career, its abnegation and dedication, I reassert my conviction that UNFT will pursue its diligent action to consecrate a society built on moderation, modernity and progress, and reinforce our comprehensive development work, in the service of our people and the homeland. Best wishes to Tunisian women!”
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