“A Rapist in Your Path”: Anti-Rape Protests Fill Streets of Tunisia

Published December 17th, 2019 - 04:50 GMT
Chanting “the sexual harasser does not legislate,” activists tailored their demonstration in protest of gender-based violence in Tunisia.
Chanting “the sexual harasser does not legislate,” activists tailored their demonstration in protest of gender-based violence in Tunisia.

Around 100 women took to the streets in demonstrations against sexual assault in Tunis. The protest was organized under the name “Falgatna”, which translates to “We’re fed up” in Arabic. 

“We thought that it was high time we start acting outside of traditional structures, such as political parties and other civil society organizations,” one of the campaign’s organizers said. “As individual citizens we should take charge of the defense of our rights and lobby against sexual violence in our country.” 

The demonstrations were inspired by a viral anti-rape campaign entitled “A Rapist in Your Path” in Chile. Chanting “the sexual harasser does not legislate,” Tunisian activists tailored their demonstration in protest of gender-based violence and the “tolerant” treatment of sex offenders by the Tunisian justice system and law makers. 

This campaign was sparked after a girl posted photos of a Tunisian Member of Parliament, Zuhair Makhlouf, masturbating inside his car in front of a school. The MP, who appeared in the photos, said that he had diabetes and was using a water bottle to urinate inside his car, and he was released after being investigated on charges of sexual harassment and public defiance.

Blindfolded demonstrators pointed their fingers towards the prime ministry during their routine. “The sexual harasser does not legislate” was one verse of the song demonstrators sang, a reference to Zouheir Makhlouf. That incident sparked the #EnaZeda (#MeToo) movement with over 20,000 sexual assault victims who have been sharing testimonies of personal sexual abuse, harassment, and violence. Other lyrics chanted at the demonstration included “Patriarchy has ruled us since we opened our eyes,” “The fault Is not mine, neither in where I go nor in what I wear,” and “The rapist is you; he is a member of parliament and a policeman, he is a judge and president.” 

Dozens of similar performances went viral around the world, including Paris, Madrid, Beirut and New York.


© 2000 - 2020 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

You may also like