By Arbia Selmi. Despite its important role in the history of Tunisia, the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) is one of the most telling examples of the perpetuation of gender inequalities in Tunisia. The trade union environment is considered a male universe and is dominated by a patriarchal culture where women, until today, do not really find their place.
The contributions to the #Identities&Beliefs thread reflect the ways in which identity-based and belief-related disparities shape the (re-)negotiation of imaginaries, visions, and models of the future. We ask: which identity-based disparities and diverse beliefs are available and dominant in specific contexts? What are their similarities and differences across different social and political settings? How have the disparities around identities and beliefs evolved in recent history and up until the present, and which visions for the future emanate from them? In addressing these guiding questions, we draw on an open understanding of the concept of ‘identities’, encompassing aspects of ideology, ethnicity, and religion. The essays emerge from the collaborative work of the Interdisciplinary Fellows Group on “Identities and Beliefs” at MECAM.
Thread Editors: André Bank (German Institute for Global and Area Studies), Elizabeth Bishop (Texas State University), Guy Eyre (King’s College London), Shreya Parikh (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill / Sciences Po), Arbia Selmi (Centre Marc Bloch), and Alyssa Miller (Coordination, German Institute for Global and Area Studies).
By André Bank. Internationally, the standing and profile of Tunisia’s General Labor Union (French: ‘Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail’, UGTT) has been shaped by three broad images: The first image emanated from the UGTT’s active participation in the so-called Jasmine Revolution in 2011, when its leadership and members protested the ‘ancien régime’ of President Zine Abidin Ben Ali.
By Elizabeth Bishop. A photograph near the bottom of the wall caught my attention at the Habib Achour exhibit in the Kerkennah branch of the Union Générale des Travailleurs Tunisiens (UGTT, General Union of Tunisian Workers). A caption provides the information that the black-and-white photograph was taken on 26 January 1978.
By Alyssa Miller. In a 2012 essay published on the webzine Nawaat, sociologist Hela Yousfi alleged that the Ennahda party – then head of Tunisia’s transitional government and dominant partner in the ‘Troika’ coalition – was surreptitiously attacking the UGTT by dumping garbage in front of its regional branches.
By Alyssa Miller and Arbia Selmi. Since the time of its foundation in 1946, the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) has shifted its focus from trade union activism to political action. Due to its participation in the independence struggle, alongside the national liberation movement led by the Neo-Destour party, the UGTT has enjoyed unparalleled historical legitimacy on the Tunisian political scene.