The Arab Spring of 2011 brought with it a new age of social awareness in Tunisia that allowed for the birth of civil society groups like the Free Sight Association (FSA), which is using NED support to engage and educate Tunisians about gender equality, human rights and democracy. Its innovative programs are training a new generation of women leaders to confront and address difficult issues, including preventing violent extremism and violence against women.
FSA’s Prevention of Violent Extremism (PVE) Initiative provides two-year mentorship programs for young women to train them for leadership roles in society. It also sponsors cultural exchanges with organizations abroad, allowing young Tunisian women the opportunity to gain an international education and perspective on leadership and human rights. FSA also provides preparatory trainings for young women who are running for office, and the group is also expanding its capacity to advocate for rural women’s rights.
Most recently, FSA has been piloting a program to train activists to prevent violations of women’s rights. The project aims to train civil society activists on international conventions and laws, and to formulate a National Action Plan (NAP) for the Tunisian government to create more coherent laws banning discrimination against women and gender-based violence, in compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, which acknowledges the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women and girls.