In the light of the on-going debate over the enforcement of Islamic laws in Malaysia, I think it would be relevant to highlight what is happening in another Islamic country - Tunisia. This was the subject of a report in the Singapore Straits Times on March 11.
Let me quote relevant excerpts from the report:
'Tunisian women have full voting rights and are active in all spheres of life. Fourteen percent of the legislature is made up of women, with one holding the position of vice-speaker of the unicameral 189-seat Chamber of Deputies, whose members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms.
Women in Tunisia comprise 37.4 percent of civil servants, 24 percent of the judiciary, and 22 per cent of lawyers. They make up 38 percent of the medical profession, 70 percent of the pharmaceutical profession and 25.5 percent of journalists.
By next year, 60 percent of the country's university students will be female, compared to 56 percent now. And, yes, they are allowed to drive, and are free to choose to wear the 'hijab' or headscarf.
The education system teaches tolerance, openness, democracy and human rights and curtails bigotry, sexism and fanaticism in textbooks and curricula
It would seem that there are things that Malaysia could learn from Tunisia, such as an education system that 'teaches tolerance, openness, democracy and human rights and curtails bigotry, sexism and fanaticism in textbooks and curricula'.
Or would that be asking too much?