The Netherlands and Tunisia lend support for women’s rights in Mali and Yemen

The Netherlands and Tunisia are joining forces to help Mali and Yemen promote women’s rights and sex education. An agreement to this effect was concluded at a meeting between Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen and the Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Mongi Hamdi. This undertaking is part of a larger effort by Ms Ploumen to support other countries on these issues.

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen with Minister of Foreign Affairs Mongi Hamdi

‘Mali and Yemen are behind the times when it comes to women’s rights and good sex education. A greater focus on these issues is essential to these countries’ development. I’m happy to be able to lend my support, together with my Tunisian counterpart,’ said Ms Ploumen after signing a letter of intent with Dr Hamdi.

Preventing maternal mortality, combating sexual violence and promoting good family planning are all elements of this joint Dutch-Tunisian programme. As an Arab country with a majority Muslim population, Tunisia is better positioned than a Western country like the Netherlands to offer progressive messages to Mali and Yemen in these areas. This type of ‘triangular partnership’ represents a new form of development cooperation.

Over the past few years Tunisia has been undergoing a successful process of democratisation, serving as a regional role model. The Netherlands supports Tunisia on this front and regards it as a partner in the fight against Islamic extremism.