Tunisian and Libyan female mayors, on Thursday, called for gender mainstreaming in public policies in their respective countries and breaking with stereotypical representations of women to enhance their participation in decision-making.
At a panel discussion in Tunis on "Women and Local Development in Libya and Tunisia: Participation, leadership and Empowerment", 25-year-old mayor of Boughrara (governorate of Medenine), Dalal Tligue said she has been under intense pressure from local residents who have been even reluctant to the idea of seeing a woman heading a municipality.
Zitouna Mohamed Soltan, a member of the municipal council of Zouara municipality in Libya said she had to face the same difficulties, as she is the only woman among the 7 members of the municipality.
For her, the only way to change mentalities is to show courage and resistance.
The Director of studies and research at the Ministry of Local Affairs said Tunisia's experience in the participation of women in local development is quite new compared to Libya, which is in its fifth year in this field.
47% of the members of the elected municipal councils as well as 20% of the mayors are women, she added.