Women’s leadership in municipalities

Second insight session and launch of a working group

Tunis, Tunisia on 10 June 2022: Women demonstrate for their rights | Photo: Hasan Mrad, shutterstock

As a follow-up to the webinar on ‘Women in Municipal Leadership’, which took place in February 2024, Connective Cities recently organised another insight session for the network in the MENA region. This event focussed on the experiences from Tunisia and Morocco.

Historically, Tunisia has been a forerunner and an example of equitable representation of women in municipal councils in the MENA region and around the globe. In 2018 seven years after the 2011 revolution and four years after the adoption of the constitution, women made up 47 per cent of the local council positions in Tunisia. The dramatic increase in women members is the result of a 2016 electoral law that includes the principles of parity and alternation between men and women on candidate lists for all elections. Nonetheless, presidential decrees announced in March 2023  dismantled the country’s democratically-elected municipal councils.

In Morocco, the international commitments and affirmation of equal rights for women and men political rights in addition to legal and institutional measures have prompted women's political participation.

The speakers representing the National Federation of Tunisian Municipalities (FNCT), the National Democratic Institute in Tunisia (NDI), and the municipality of Fes in Morocco have delved into the status quo of legal barriers and their impact on women election and roles assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the gender quota in election. In addition, they discussed opportunities and challenges for the full participation of women in politics and public affairs.

Against this background, Connective Cities is launching a working group to spread awareness and advocate for creating a supportive environment where women can play an active, productive and leading role in municipal and local governance. Empowering women includes strengthening their knowledge and boosting their skills to give them more opportunities and capacities in communicating and building fruitful partnerships and fulfill a decisive role in achieving sustainable development.

For further details about this working group, please refer to the concept note.

Recording of the insight session

Please do not hesitate to contact us, if you have any questions: muna.shalan(at)


Muna Shalan, Connective Cities