A young woman has become the talk of Tunisia after posting a nude photo of herself online.
The picture has become a viral sensation after it circulated on the social media network Facebook. In the photo, written on her bare chest is the slogan 'I own my body. It's not the source of anyone's honor'.
Uploaded to coincide with International Women's Day, the stunt follows intense public debate in Tunisia over the status of women.
Since the Renaissance movement came to power in 2011, feminist groups have sprung up demanding greater freedoms and protections for women in the country. Some women's rights have been enshrined in the Personal Status code. Conservative sectors in Tunisian society have reacted angrily to the legislation, claiming that they go too far.
The naked photo has ignited emotions throughout Tunisian society. Conservative groups have declared the photo obscene, shameless, irresponsible and claimed it isn't representative of educated, Muslim Tunisians.
Others saw the topless Tunisian as atttempting to emulate the global woman's movement " FEMEN", who protest in degrees of nudity to express freedom. FEMEN had announced its intention to open an office in the country but was flatly refused by Minister for Women, Siham BAdi. She denounced the organisation for being anti-Islam, declaring that she would legally prevent the group from setting up shop in Tunis.
The furore over the photo comes after the Al Maghreb newspaper published a controversial audio interview with the Renaissance movement leader Al Habeeb Al Louz. In the interview he allegedly justifies female circumcision. Al Habeeb denies the accusations, claiming journalistic trickery but the newspaper is standing by its article.
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