Oral history interview with Neila Chaabane Hammouda, 2015
In 2014, Neila Chaabane Hammouda was appointed Tunisian Secretary of State for Women, Childhood and the Family by Mehdi Jomaa. In 2013, she became vice dean of the Faculty of Legal, Political and Social Sciences of Tunis. In 2011, she became the head of the public law department at the university-where she had been an assistant professor since 2009-and a member of the National Commission of Investigation on Corruption and Misappropriation. Chaabane was a member of the Scientific Council from 2002 to 2011. She is a member of the Tunisian Association for Constitutional Law, as well as of the Tunisian Association of Administration.
Scope and Contents
Neila Chaabane Hammouda, a member of the first anti-corruption commission in Tunisia after the revolution and Secretary of State (junior minister) for Women, Childhood and the Family in the technocratic government of Medhi Jomaa, describes her own experiences of the Tunisian Revolution. She characterizes her work as difficult, as it faced powerful opposition, but that it was ultimately successful, since its evidence was passed to the next government. Chaabane briefly returned to her work in the university but was later asked to take part in the technocratic government. She describes how, as Secretary of State, she was able to work to prevent many illegal Islamist kindergartens from operating. She also focused on creating a new legal framework for women's equality in Tunisia. Chaabane discusses the situation of women in Tunisia, and compares it to that in other Arab countries. She talks briefly about Tunisia during her own childhood, and her memories of Habib Bourguiba and of the early stages of the Zine El Abidine Ben Ali regime. Apart from her ministerial duties, Chaabane also had to resolve many problems her ministry's operations, and she notes that her successor is continuing much of her work.
Copyright by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, 2015.