II/ Women in Physics-Proposal.

Science, Physics begins with astronomy –observations of the sky takes place outside and at night- It is out of the area of women. The Idea that Science is for men takes place as a law and that over space and time : Inetia law of Newton in physics is valid for society. No change could happen if no force acted from outside: politics policy, International mouvement, …

Although many formal barriers to women’s participation in science have fallen , cultural attitudes and antagonisms remain.

As in other countries , in Tunisia , the difficulties faced by women is how to juggle a carreer in sciences with the

wish to raise children and to built family.

Despite changes in attitudes , society ( men and women) still places on women the major role in home building and Child bearing years coincide with the assistant professors years; Careers success for women includes family success. Careers success for men is carreer. Things are changing but women are asked patience at each step and more effort : work at home and in science! If oe woman succeeds in her career in physics, that constitutes some exception of patience , efforts, ambition, and… We can not change the height of many centuries but Conditions demand urgent change

Why participation of women in Physics is important?

Physis science has been built through the time with progressive approximations with many revolutions in the concepts. Different approaches, methods, techniques, follows this development The development of thinking has followed the evolution of Physics :

Physics is a science which contributes to the development of the society. It contributes to the development of the mind since the baby stage until adult: the interaction with the real is one of the tasks of Physics Science. This contributes to built the process of the learning and of the know how.

Participation of women in that operation as a mother, as a teacher, is crucial in our developping countries for the construction and the development of the society. It contributes to teach how to become an independent and responsible citizen, able to contribute to the development of its society, to give new scientists, That needs of experimental course education, from the primary school and at each step of education (secondary nd university) as well as at home. This needs training for our teachers , new approaches, equipments in laboratories, interactions and exshange of experiences at international level.

What can be done for increase presence of women in Physics ?

-Cultural attitudes ( for men and women) must change,

-Contribution of men to home making responsabilities

-Day care arrangements

-Improving the Institutional Structure and Working conditions

-Appropriate scientific arrangements


-Making courses of Physics for youung people more attractive :

Introduce Physics with technology in the culture : look for education program more comprehensive and more attractive, more closed to the new technologies (optics, electronics, electronic,..) Look for new training methods and experience to share at international level through colloquium, workshops,..

Introduce innovative approaches in education with practical exercices for each pupil, student from primary to university level with equipment for laboratories.


-Grants for women to go in good laboratories in developped countries, to make research , to get advices, to get example from good environment , to get opportunities to interact withothers scientists

-Development of common projects of research- network research- joint project - with advanced laboratories which creates a new dynamic, more possibilities of scientific enviroment- equipment, advices from elders and helps to go on with career in physics.

-Giving possibilties of access to educational and training in physics for young and graduate women at international advanced science centers-

-Increase possibilities for development of laboratories of research –fundamental and applied - to get better quality of researchers and teachers and to give possibility to to get pleasure , to be motivate to work and to interact with other sectors

-Creation of an international program of activities for involvment of women in Physics and

Involvment of women from developping countries in that activities

-Development of affiliated centre of research or affiliated laboratories for those where women are responsible between developed and developing countries

-Give more possibilities to Physicists to access to engineer schools , to applications schools.

This possibility was usual in 1960-1980. Most our first engineers from high engineer school in France (Centrale de Paris, Telecom de Paris, Ecole Supérieure d’Electricité ...) are physicists.

-Look how to envolve physcists in economic sectors and find job in different sectors where physics is needed but not present as in hospitals, environment, industry, agriculture,..

(As an example of help: in 2000-2001, in Tunisia one program ( called commonly program 21-21) has been built to help graduates people to access to economic sectors and find job: it consists to give for one year a complement of training in computer science leading to get technicians in network, or multimedia or software).

References :

Tunisia works- Secretariat d’Etat à l’Iformation- -Gouvernement Tunisien 1960

Jeune Afrique- n°1837, 20-26 Mars 1996

Légende de Carthage- Ezzeddine Bach Chaouch- ; Découvertes-Gallimard

Le choix de l’avenir- Ministère des télécommunications Octobre 1999.

Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur 97-98, Bureau des études de la planification et de la programmation.

Hommes- Femmes-CREDIF, Minitère de la Femme et de la Famille 2001

Appendice 1

Some important dates for the women status in Tunisia

1930 Publication of Tahar Haddad ‘s Book: Our women in Shariaa ( Islamic Law ) and Society 1936 Foundation of the union of Muslim woman

1944 The union of Tunisian woman

1956 Promulgation of the code of personal status

Abolition of polygamy

Minimum age for marriage set at 15 for girls and 18 for boys

Marriage made contingent upon women’s own consent

Establishment of legal divorce proceedings

  1. Foundation of the national union of Tunisian woman(now called thepatriotic of tunisian woman)

  2. Tunisia ratifies the convention on night labour for woman

  3. Educational reform

The right to education is granted to children of both sexes,startingfrom the age of 6 years

1959 Tunisia ratifies the international convention on the eradication of all forms of discrimination with respect to employment and occupation

1961 The sale of contraceptives to the public is authorized

1964 The minimum age for marriage is set at 17 years for girls and 18 to 20 years for boys

  1. Autorisation de l’avortement à partir du 5eme enfant.

  2. The national program of family planning is initiated

1966 The labour code is instituted :non-discrimination between men and women in labour

  1. Tunisia ratifies the international convention on consent to marriage, minimum age for marriage and registration of marriages (to ensure equal rights for both spouses)

1967 Ratification par la Tunisie de la convention universelle sur les droits politiques de la femme

1967 Tunisia ratifies the international convention on equal pay for equal work between men and women

  1. Tunisia ratifies the international convention against discrimination in education

  1. Tunisia ratifies the international convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women

  1. The association of Tunisian Women for research and development

  2. Creation of center for research ,studies ,documentation ,and information on women (CREDIF)

  1. The secretariat of state for women and the family is created

  1. Initiation of the national literacy program targeting particularly women and girls

1997 ..At least 2 women are integrated to the structure of the regional council of governorate development

2002 Amendment to the code of Nationality by virtue of which a woman may legally transmit her nationality to her children born of a non Tunisian if the father abandoned them, or legally irresponsable is decreased