Berliner Boersenzeitung - Single women in Tunisia demand reproductive rights

EUR -
AED 3.9268
AFN 75.677586
ALL 100.305858
AMD 414.913785
ANG 1.926403
AOA 914.580027
ARS 968.340462
AUD 1.603463
AWG 1.924341
AZN 1.814721
BAM 1.95728
BBD 2.158232
BDT 125.590281
BGN 1.956599
BHD 0.402926
BIF 3073.509394
BMD 1.069079
BND 1.448195
BOB 7.385585
BRL 5.813668
BSD 1.068908
BTN 89.259004
BWP 14.405895
BYN 3.498045
BYR 20953.938752
BZD 2.154529
CAD 1.463531
CDF 3044.735655
CHF 0.953629
CLF 0.036108
CLP 996.328153
CNY 7.762259
CNH 7.790749
COP 4460.430732
CRC 558.722543
CUC 1.069079
CUP 28.33058
CVE 110.346903
CZK 24.945558
DJF 190.313928
DKK 7.457784
DOP 63.087121
DZD 143.956711
EGP 50.998894
ERN 16.036178
ETB 61.676344
FJD 2.397676
FKP 0.838801
GBP 0.845503
GEL 2.961293
GGP 0.838801
GHS 16.194247
GIP 0.838801
GMD 72.456804
GNF 9201.614587
GTQ 8.29404
GYD 223.499025
HKD 8.342394
HNL 26.439501
HRK 7.503261
HTG 141.675819
HUF 396.882529
IDR 17602.965624
ILS 4.008825
IMP 0.838801
INR 89.335833
IQD 1400.245861
IRR 45008.204922
ISK 149.093864
JEP 0.838801
JMD 166.465893
JOD 0.757658
JPY 169.843451
KES 137.379843
KGS 92.899607
KHR 4406.33236
KMF 491.722562
KPW 962.170797
KRW 1484.918058
KWD 0.327961
KYD 0.890774
KZT 497.506247
LAK 23496.769809
LBP 95719.589476
LKR 326.396843
LRD 207.476908
LSL 19.133333
LTL 3.156711
LVL 0.646674
LYD 5.181919
MAD 10.644952
MDL 19.13347
MGA 4839.660071
MKD 61.576568
MMK 3472.325291
MNT 3688.320956
MOP 8.591097
MRU 42.091257
MUR 50.075382
MVR 16.447742
MWK 1853.301589
MXN 19.529822
MYR 5.038594
MZN 68.094998
NAD 19.133512
NGN 1602.549002
NIO 39.349022
NOK 11.268317
NPR 142.814005
NZD 1.743138
OMR 0.411526
PAB 1.068908
PEN 4.067624
PGK 4.168997
PHP 62.903553
PKR 297.687531
PLN 4.321589
PYG 8045.783717
QAR 3.898494
RON 4.976989
RSD 117.052312
RUB 94.611643
RWF 1403.46139
SAR 4.010464
SBD 9.023205
SCR 14.567934
SDG 642.51627
SEK 11.243151
SGD 1.447046
SHP 1.350727
SLE 24.42556
SLL 22418.043818
SOS 610.861974
SRD 32.812692
STD 22127.76665
SVC 9.352942
SYP 2686.092279
SZL 19.124927
THB 39.159694
TJS 11.362393
TMT 3.741775
TND 3.351735
TOP 2.522758
TRY 35.122119
TTD 7.253486
TWD 34.578272
TZS 2806.331519
UAH 43.232678
UGX 4008.031138
USD 1.069079
UYU 42.101249
UZS 13510.027619
VEF 3872793.057869
VES 38.840321
VND 27216.066112
VUV 126.923112
WST 2.994077
XAF 656.453453
XAG 0.035025
XAU 0.000452
XCD 2.889238
XDR 0.811213
XOF 656.444236
XPF 119.331742
YER 267.644047
ZAR 19.135968
ZMK 9622.993081
ZMW 27.230594
ZWL 344.242843
  • CMSC

    -0.1050

    24.4507

    -0.43%

  • RBGPF

    0.0000

    56.5

    0%

  • RIO

    -0.6400

    66.28

    -0.97%

  • RYCEF

    -0.1300

    6

    -2.17%

  • SCS

    0.7950

    12.975

    +6.13%

  • CMSD

    0.0900

    24.33

    +0.37%

  • BCC

    -1.5400

    121.18

    -1.27%

  • NGG

    -0.3650

    57.485

    -0.63%

  • VOD

    -0.0750

    9.015

    -0.83%

  • RELX

    -0.1300

    45.52

    -0.29%

  • GSK

    -0.4850

    40.275

    -1.2%

  • BCE

    0.0200

    32.81

    +0.06%

  • JRI

    -0.0650

    11.965

    -0.54%

  • BTI

    0.0050

    31.505

    +0.02%

  • AZN

    0.5100

    79.07

    +0.64%

  • BP

    -0.0500

    35.66

    -0.14%

Single women in Tunisia demand reproductive rights
Single women in Tunisia demand reproductive rights

Single women in Tunisia demand reproductive rights

A Tunisian singer's announcement that she would freeze her eggs in the hope of becoming a mother has provoked a heated debate on women's reproductive rights in the North African country.

Text size:

Nermine Sfar, 31, appealed to her nearly one million Instagram followers to encourage other women who are studying and pursuing careers to freeze their eggs and preserve "the dream of becoming a mother".

Under Tunisian law, single women can only freeze their eggs if they are facing medical treatment, such as chemotherapy, "that could affect their ability to procreate".

The technique allows women to have eggs extracted, frozen and safely kept in liquid nitrogen, potentially getting pregnant with them years later.

Under the country's legislation from 2001, the eggs are stored for five years, renewable on the patient's request.

But the Tunisian law precludes the possibility of single women freezing eggs to delay pregnancy for social or career reasons.

According to Sfar's team, the singer does not fit the legal criteria in Tunisia and therefore cannot access the procedure -- along with many other single women in the country.

Sfar's post reignited a discussion over amending the law, with some responses suggesting that given Tunisia's deep economic and political crises since its 2011 revolt, the question of freezing eggs is of secondary importance.

But others said it was time to change the law and allow more women to benefit from the technique, in a country often seen as a pioneer for gender rights in the Arab world.

"In Tunisia, sadly there are brains and laws in deep-freeze," wrote one social media user.

- 'No logic' -

Nayma Chermiti, a television journalist, has been considering undergoing the procedure for two years, but says the law is getting in her way.

"I don't see any logic in this law," the 40-year-old told AFP.

"It excludes healthy, single women who have professional responsibilities or financial constraints that mean they put off getting married or having children."

She also criticises civil society for failing to push parliament to change a pre-revolution law that "doesn't correspond to the evolution of women and their responsibilities".

Doctor Fethi Zhiwa, head of the fertility clinic at Aziza Othmana hospital in Tunis, said young, single women enquired "practically every day" about freezing their eggs.

"This has surged in the last five years because of social evolution in Tunisia, where the average marriage age for women is now 33 years," he said.

This presents "a real problem", he added.

"There is a discrepancy between biological age -- which controls the age of reproduction -- and social age, which controls the evolution of careers," he said.

Zhiwa said about 80 percent of nearly 1,000 women who had frozen their eggs at the centre since 2014 were single.

The doctor was involved in drafting the law in 2001, 15 years after the first human birth from a previously frozen egg.

He said amending the law would be simple.

"There needs to be political will, particularly as there are no objections from religious clerics," he said.

"All they care about is ensuring there is no exchange or donation of gametes (eggs or sperm)."

- Civil society 'distracted' -

Zhiwa said the law was a "victim of its early approval", noting that when it was drafted, it was seen as being ahead of neighbouring countries.

Morocco waited until 2019 to adopt a law on medically assisted reproduction -- and only for married couples.

The kingdom does however allow single women to freeze their eggs when they are suffering from conditions such as cancer, said Jamal Fikri of the Moroccan College of Fertility.

In Algeria, only married women have access to such services, while in Libya, doctors say fertility treatment does not exist at all.

For Tunisian women's rights activist Yosra Frawes, Sfar's announcement "democratised a subject that used to be rarely discussed in Tunisia, because civil society was distracted by other issues".

"Thanks to social media, women have more freedom of speech," Frawes said.

"Subjects that used to be taboo are now being openly discussed."

(L.Kaufmann--BBZ)