This year, Tunisia has been the host country of the 3rd World Women’s Conference with a focus on “grassroot women”.

Tunisia is the third country to host this kind of event.

The first one was held in Caracas, Venezuela in 2011 and the second in Kathmandu Nepal in 2016.

The Conference lasts from September 3rd until September 10th with different workshops and events for people to attend.

The first day of the Conference was on Sunday, September 4th. Around 500 people of different nationalities, genders and age groups attended the conference and showcased their solidarity for and with all women around the world.

The event started with a march. Representatives of various organisations joined the march and chanted their mottos calling for women’s empowerment, gender equality, and the rights of the LGBT community. Each one voiced their own chants in their respective languages. But, the most important chant that gathered everyone was the French chant “é avec les femmes du monde entier” (in English: Solidarity with all the women around the world). Every single person, whether they understood the language or not did their best and raised their voices calling for solidarity with all the women around the world.

After the march, everyone gathered in the Conference room in the “City of Culture” awaiting the beginning of the event.

The first event of the conference started with a few words from the organisers applauding people’s efforts and commitment to joining the movement. They started off by explaining that this year’s theme, “grassroot women” reflected that the metaphor models women as the basis for every society and an integral part of our world.

Later, a representative of the Ministry of Women, Family and Childhood welcomed the organisations and emphasized the essential role of women as equal and capable partners in society.

Women from different continents, each one representing their countries, introduced themselves and spoke about their particular fields of advocacy.

The event then lightened in tone when a Palestinian singer started chanting and playing a traditional song. In that moment, people went to the stage, joined the singer and danced together. Whether or not they understood the lyrics made no difference; they were there to have fun. Tens of people, raising either flag of their countries or of their organisations held hands and danced the Palestinian “dabke” together.

The first day of the conference was exciting making everyone look forward to the next events planned throughout the week. This first day of the Conference was characterized by  people of different genders, ethnicities, nationalities and age groups all as participants. Each one of them travelled to Tunisia on their own budgets in order to help, join and speak at this international event.

This “Grassroots”  3rd World Women’s Conference is expected to last until September 10th with various events, workshops and intriguing content that gives voice to the organisations to advocate for women’s rights.

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