"Formidable Tunisie!" concludes Martine Gozlan, writing in the French journal Marianne, about the process by which Tunisia has arrived at a new constitution. Tunisia, the country that started the Arab Spring, has now been the first to institutionalize their democratic progress into the legal framework of their country. The process begun with the Arab Spring thus continues to be a most exciting advance towards a culture of peace, as was described in the CPNN bulletin last April.

CPNN, this month, carries three articles about the new Tunisian constitution.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union calls the new constitution a "defining moment for democracy" in Tunisia, and we may add by implication, for the entire Arab World.

Of central importance, as described in the article from Global Net, the Constitution institutes the equality of women and men. Women's equality is essential to democracy, according to the framework of the culture of peace.

Also of critical importance, as described in the article from RT News, the Constitution has rejected religious (sharia) law as its basis, despite the fact that most of the country and the constituent assembly are Islamic and since the beginning of the Arab Spring there has been a dominating Islamist influence.

The struggle is not over, as Martine Gozlan reminds us: "But not too fast! They have not yet completely won, these Tunisiens with their civil state and the freedom of conscience enshrined in the texts. Nadia el Fani, the magnificent and celebrated director of "Laïcité Inch Allah!", so often threatened and insulted, tells me that I am much too naive to be a Tunisien".


Women of Cambodia say "No!"

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Meanwhile in neighboring Egypt, where the Islamist government was overturned last year and replaced by military rule, a similar struggle goes on. The Elders consider that the draft constitution being discussed in Egypt could be a major step forward toward democracy: “The constitution should protect, and indeed celebrate the extraordinary diversity and cultural heritage of Egypt and reflect the inherent value of pluralism for a healthy and vibrant society."

There is even movement in the most conservative of Arab countries, Saudi Arabia, as reported by Human Rights Watch. Despite repression there are Saudi activists who are advocating popular political participation, judicial reform, and an end to discrimination against women and minorities.

In the long run, it is the new generation that will determine the future in the Arab world. As Aisha Habli writes about discussions with her peers at an Arab Youth Leadership workshop, "We have a big role in carrying our communities forward even when the older generations may have grown tired, and we will continue to create positive change."


UN Campaign in Colombia: "Peace is mine"


A Year of Delightful Egalitarian Imagination


Tribal peoples' reasons to celebrate in 2013


Samba-Panza's election represents a bright future for African women in politics

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on peace education

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on sustainable development

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on human rights

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on women's equality


Tunisia: Equality of Women and Men in New Constitution


Togo: Muslim Imans Train for Peace and Nonviolence


UN General Assembly backs right to privacy in digital age


Peace Operations and Conflict Management

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on democratic participation

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on tolerance and solidarity

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on free flow of information

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on disarmament

Please send us articles about the work of your organization and other culture of peace news. (see We look forward to hearing from you.

Peace, through struggle,

The CPNN Team