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Cablegate: Placement of Op-Ed On the International Day for The

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTU #0889 3370639
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 030639Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY TUNIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7048
INFO RUCNMGH/MAGHREB COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TUNIS 000889

SIPDIS

S/GWI FOR BENNETT AND GHORI; ALSO FOR NEA/MAG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KWMN KPAO PHUM TS
SUBJECT: PLACEMENT OF OP-ED ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE
ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Ref: A) Tunis 886
B) STATE 120322

Sensitive but Unclassified. Please protect accordingly.

1. (U) Per paragraph four of Ref. A, post adapted S/GWI's suggested
op-ed for relevance to Tunisia, condensing it and noting that
"Tunisia has a long tradition of protecting women's rights for which
it can be justifiably proud, but violence is a global problem and it
requires international solutions." The reputable and widely read
newspapers As-Sabah (Arabic-language daily) and its sister
French-language daily Le Temps, which have a combined daily
circulation of 90,000 readers, published front-page headers about
the editorial on December 2.

2. (U) The articles mentioned Ambassador Gray by name and title in
the byline, and each featured a photo of the Ambassador downloaded
from the Embassy's public website both on the front and inside
pages. The op-ed, which was printed in full using the Embassy's
provided translation, called for the elimination of all forms of
violence against women while praising Tunisia for its strong history
of support for women's rights. Accordingly, the headline in
As-Sabah read, "Tunisia has a long tradition of protecting women's
rights for which it can be justifiably proud", and the headline in
Le Temps was "Elimination of violence against women in the world:
Tunisian secular traditions for the protection of women's rights."


3. (SBU) The Tunisian Association of Democratic Women (ATFD) called
Post's Human Rights Officer to praise the Ambassador's editorial,
and stated that while the international community and activists tend
to focus discourse on a "male-centric" version of human rights, her
association was glad to see the Ambassador speak specifically and
publically about the rights of women. Additionally, several foreign
diplomats working on human rights in Tunisia communicated their
pleasure at seeing the op-ed.

DESJARDINS

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