Tunisia – Tunisian women prove their worth in men’s professions
Location: Tunis, Tunisia
Source: A24 Tunis
Restriction: A24 subscribers
Carpentry, masonry, auto repair, and aircraft piloting were among the professions practiced by men; but the development of Arab societies made women practice such professions.
Sociologists attribute Tunisian women breaking into the world of men’s businesses to the difficult social and living conditions in Tunisia, which forced women to work to support their families, especially in cases where they are the only breadwinners at home.
Tunisian sociologists say that the high percentage of females working in male professions is evidence of the deterioration of the economy and the change in social roles and stereotypes of men and women. Tunisian society used to assign women to domestic and reproductive jobs, or to specific jobs such as teaching, nursing, and sewing.
Tunisian Labib a Fer chichi, who has been working at a gas station for more than 20 years, told A24 that the path to success is perseverance. Despite social rejection and arduous working conditions, she dedicated herself to this job and succeeded in overcoming all obstacles.
Heavy truck driver Nadia Abu Fares told the A24 reporter that she found it strange at first to work in such a job with all the men around her, but she proved that passion, practice and will are key factors for success.
- Soundbite Labyah Al-Farshishi works at a gas station
“I have been working for about 28 years. In Eastern societies, it is unacceptable for women to work in jobs considered only for men. It was difficult at first for me, but with time, people became more accepting of my profession, as I was the first woman to work in a gas station in Tunisia. My colleagues have no problem with it, but some customers find it strange to see a woman working at a gas station. The road to success is perseverance, if you love work, you dedicate yourself to it and learn how to grow in it, only then will you succeed
- Soundbite Nadia Boufares – Heavy truck driver and driving instructor
“I love trucks, as my father loved mechanics of all kinds, so I took the driving test and passed. Another reason is I was challenged in 2004 when it was the driving test for trucks, as one of my colleagues was an old man, he said I would never be able to pass, but I wanted to prove to him that I could pass without help, with my own effort. On the day of the test, I entered the hall and saw it was all men there. One of them looked at me and said I entered the wrong hall, as it was not the hall for light cars, so I answered him that I am in the right hall, and that I was there to take the test with him.”
- Soundbite (Ashraf Al-Akrami – a student on a heavy truck)
“It seemed a little strange at first, but I loved the experience. For me, I see this as a good thing that helps the community.”
Soundbite (Fatima Al-Ferjani – Service Technician)
“I worked as an accountant and then moved on to work as a mechanic and selling auto parts. I search for parts online, memorize their names, and sell them. I found myself loving this profession