Souad Abderrahim

Souad Abderrahim has been the mayor of Tunis since July 2018. She became the first woman elected mayor of Tunis and the first Arab woman to hold such a position. She has made the physical and spiritual restoration of the city, following the terror attacks, her priority and has also spoken of how she hopes to inspire and assist more women to enter politics.The Mayor’s initiatives to improve the city’s public spaces, infrastructure and buildings, to enhance safety and to support local small businesses are, in part, designed to encourage tourists to return. In her World Mayor essay the Mayor writes “under the new constitution we have, for the first time, a city council in which almost 50% of the members are women. Five of the sixty members are in their twenties and fifteen are in their thirties. The women are strongly represented in the leadership position in the council structures.” “Women must dare to be in a leadership position. …. I am convinced that they are very capable today of positioning themselves as leaders and of overcoming the challenges.” Mayor Abderrahim represents a break with the past in other ways. She is middle class rather than a member of one of the powerful families of Tunisia who have previously dominated leadership and her roots are in the south of the country rather than the traditional north.

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