‘Masturbation photos’ prompt Tunisia’s #MeToo anger

By BBC On Sun, 1 Dec, 2019 12:55 | < 1 min read
me too
Women, wearing #EnaZeda T-shirts, gathered outside parliament earlier this month when MPs were being sworn in, demanding the case be investigated. PHOTO | BBC

Photos of a man allegedly masturbating in a car outside a high school in Tunisia have prompted an outpouring of stories by women about the sexual abuse and harassment they have experienced.

They are being shared under the hashtag #EnaZeda, which means “MeToo” in Tunisian Arabic.

The man in the photos is a recently elected MP, Zouheir Makhlouf, who denies the allegations — saying he was about to urinate into a bottle as he is a diabetic.

Women, wearing #EnaZeda T-shirts, gathered outside parliament earlier this month when MPs were being sworn in, demanding the case be investigated.

The MP technically enjoys parliamentary immunity now, though a judge is still examining the case.

The images were taken in October by a student who alleges the politician had been harassing her.

‘Paedophilia and incest rampant’

Outrage over the case prompted Aswaat Nisaa, a non-government organisation meaning “Women’s Voices”, to launch a closed group on Facebook called #EnaZeda.

It is a safe space for victims to share their experiences – and the revelations have been a shock for the moderators of the page.

“Paedophilia and incest are more rampant than we would like to admit,” moderator Rania Said told the BBC.

“Many, many families are hiding this, and many families don’t even know how to deal with this.”