'Mermaid' marketing causes outrage in Tunisia

'Mermaid' marketing causes outrage in Tunisia
2 min read
02 January, 2016
A major market centre using a live woman as a 'mermaid' in the Tunisian capital city sparks outrage.
A woman poses as a mermaid on a fish stall in a Tunisian market centre.
A marketing ploy in Tunis' Geant commercial centre involving a real life woman dressed up as a mermaid and surrounded by fish has been condemned by politicians and activists.

The move is 'insulting' to women said Monia Ibrahim, a member of parliament from the Ennahda Movement, the leading Islamist political party in Tunisia.

"It affirms backward stereotypes far from the reality of Tunisian women" said Ibrahim, adding that women played a vital role in the liberation of their country.

"It portrays an image of women that can only reflect an intellectual and moral deterioration in society which seeks to bring back the image of women as slaves," Ibrahim added.

Women's rights became a particular subject of discussion in the constitutional negotiations that followed the aftermath of the 2011 revolution that saw the ousting of President Ben Ali. 

A woman's rights organisation has recently found that at least two women are victims of sexual harassment every day in Tunis.

Activists also condemned the marketing ploy.
It is a cheap way of using the image of women as an instrument of sales as it only encourages viewing women as a source of sexual desire and no more, said activist Hind al-Shanawi.

Ibrahim called upon the centre to apologise for this move. 

[Translation: The series of degradation continues in Tunis with a mermaid posing in the middle of fish stall in Geant centre. Why? What is the point of it? What is the idea behind it? Why?!]