19 January 2017 IT’S TIME FOR SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP TO FLOURISH AGAIN IN TUNISIA (WES BLOG)
Tunisia’s 2011 revolution brought many economic challenges, due in part to the country’s heavy dependency on foreign trade and investments, which slowed down as the world watched the country adjust to its new post-revolution reality. The revolution also brought many civil society opportunities, as activists of all sorts, good and bad, finally found freedom of expression and liberty to advocate against government inefficiency in many sectors, which was a life-threatening subject before the revolution.
One important social challenge in Tunisia is women’s economic inclusion. Despite the fact that Tunisia has progressive laws to ensure gender equality, women’s economic inclusion remains low; in fact, the MENA region in general has the lowest percentage of women inclusion in the labor force (25% MENA, 58% Latin America, 62% OECD members, 64% sub-Saharan countries; World Bank Gender Database). With Tunisia’s economic challenges, women’s economic inclusion remains the most underestimated economic opportunity today. This was one of the motivations behind the initiation of the Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability (WES) program, which sees women’s economic inclusion as essential for women’s empowerment and active participation in society.