|Died||11 March 2023 (aged 58–59)|
|Other names||Dr. Belhadj|
|Known for||Women's rights campaigns|
Ahlem Belhadj (Arabic : أحلام بالحاج, romanized: ʾAḥlām Bālḥājj; 1964 – 11 March 2023) was a Tunisian psychiatrist and women's rights campaigner. Serving at various times as president, chair, and director of the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women (ATFD), Belhadj campaigned for better treatment of women in Tunisia. She successfully fought for the right of women and children to apply for passports without permission of their husband or father. Belhadj led a march of thousands of women against President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali during the 2011 Tunisian Revolution. She was the 2012 winner of the Simone de Beauvoir Prize and placed 18th on Foreign Policy 's 2012 list of global thinkers.
Belhadj grew up in Korba, one of five siblings. Her father was a teacher and mayor of the town for 20 years.  A keen athlete, she won many school prizes and competed for the Korba and Stade Nabeulien teams as well as the national team in the long jump and 100m.  Belhadj studied medicine at the Medicine School of Tunis where she decided to become a child psychiatrist. 
Belhadj worked at the child and adolescent psychiatry department, Mongi slim Hospital, University of Tunis El Manar. Ahlem performed research in autism, genetics, early intervention, and family intervention. Her second field of interest was the evaluation and psychotherapy of child psychotraumatism. 
Later, she became interested in politics. She took part in her first political march on 8 March 1983 (International Women's Day) and there met her future husband Brik Zoghlami, a lawyer who was in a Marxist revolutionary group.  
Belhadj was married in 1993 and had two children. Her husband was forced to work in France due to the regime issuing an arrest warrant against him; he later served eight months in prison. 
In 2004, Belhadj became president of the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women (ATFD).  She continued to practice medicine and specialized in child psychiatry. 
Belhadj was chair of the ATFD from 2011 to 2013 and campaigned for gender and social equality.   Her interest in revolutionary politics began after enrolling in medicine school in Tunisia back in the 80's, when she participated in movements against Ben Ali's system, specially by defending women's rights and her freedom. During the Jasmine Revolution of 2011 she led marches of thousands of women against President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali; the revolution later led to the fall of Ali and Tunisia's first-ever democratic elections. 
Belhadj campaigned for new laws to be put in place against domestic violence. In 2015 amendments that she campaigned for brought about the freedom of women and children to apply for their own passports; previously they had to have the permission of their husband or father.  She was director of the ATFD by 2014. After elections that brought Islamist parties into power, Belhadj became concerned about the resurgence of conservative Islamist policies. She also complained of the disruption of ATFD meetings by government officials in the name of preserving "moral values". 
Described as the "Arab Spring's Tunisian Heroine", she won the Simone de Beauvoir Prize and placed 18th on Foreign Policy 's 2012 list of global thinkers.  
Belhadj died on 11 March 2023, at age 59. 
The politics of Tunisia takes place within the framework of a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic, with a President serving as head of state, Prime Minister as head of government, a unicameral legislature and a court system influenced by French civil law. Between 1956 and 2011, Tunisia operated as a de facto one-party state, with politics dominated by the secular Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) under former Presidents Habib Bourguiba and then Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. However, in 2011 a national uprising led to the ousting of the President and the dismantling of the RCD, paving the way for a multi-party democracy. October 2014 saw the first democratic parliamentary elections since the 2011 revolution, resulting in a win by the secularist Nidaa Tounes party with 85 seats in the 217-member assembly.
Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, commonly known as Ben Ali or Ezzine, was a Tunisian politician who served as the 2nd president of Tunisia from 1987 to 2011. In that year, during the Tunisian revolution, he fled to Saudi Arabia.
Censorship in Tunisia has been an issue since the country gained independence in 1956. Though considered relatively mild under President Habib Bourguiba (1957–1987), censorship and other forms of repression became common under his successor, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Ben Ali was listed as one of the "10 Worst Enemies of the Press" by the Committee to Protect Journalists starting in 1998. Reporters Without Borders named Ben Ali as a leading "Predator of Press Freedom". However, the Tunisia Monitoring Group reports that the situation with respect to censorship has improved dramatically since the overthrow of Ben Ali in early 2011.
Tarak Mekki was a Tunisian businessman and political figure. He declared himself as an opponent to the president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and a candidate to his succession. Mekki was one of the few political opponents calling for an immediate end to the Ben Ali regime, and his prosecution for corruption and torture.
Leïla Ben Ali is the widow of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who was President of Tunisia from 1987 to 2011. She married Ben Ali in 1992.
The Tunisian Revolution, also called the Jasmine Revolution, was an intensive 28-day campaign of civil resistance. It included a series of street demonstrations which took place in Tunisia, and led to the ousting of longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. It eventually led to a thorough democratisation of the country and to free and democratic elections.
Hamma Hammami is a Tunisian communist, leader of the Popular Front, spokesman of the Tunisian Workers' Party, and former editor of the party news organ El-Badil.
Lina Ben Mhenni was a Tunisian Internet activist, blogger and lecturer in linguistics at Tunis University. She was internationally recognised for her work during the 2011 Tunisian revolution and in the following years.
Chokri Belaïd, also transliterated as Shokri Belaïd, was a Tunisian politician and lawyer who was an opposition leader with the left-secular Democratic Patriots' Movement. Belaïd was a vocal critic of the Ben Ali regime prior to the 2011 Tunisian revolution and of the then Islamist-led Tunisian government. On 6 February 2013, he was fatally shot outside his house in El Menzah, close to the Tunisian capital, Tunis. As a result of his assassination, Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali announced his plan to dissolve the existing national government and to form a temporary "national unity" government.
Anarchism in Tunisia has its roots in the works of the philosopher Ibn Khaldun, with the modern anarchist movement being first brought to the country in the late 19th century by Italian immigrants. The contemporary anarchist movement arose as a result of the Arab Spring and the aftermath of the Tunisian Revolution.
Secularism in Tunisia is an ideological and political movement aiming at defining the relationship between religion and state and the place of religion in society during an ongoing modernization. The Tunisian Constitution of 2014 affirmed Tunisia as a civil state founded on citizenship. It also declared Islam as Tunisia's religion. The following religious festivals are recognized as national holidays: the Islamic New Year, the birth of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha.
A political crisis evolved in Tunisia following the assassination of leftist leader Mohamed Brahmi in late July 2013, during which the country's mainly secular opposition organized several protests against the ruling Troika alliance that was dominated by Rashid al-Ghannushi's Islamist Ennahda Movement. The events came as part of the aftermath of the Tunisian Revolution which ousted the country's longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, followed by a general election which saw Ennahda win a plurality alongside Moncef Marzouki's allied Congress for the Republic (CPR). The crisis gradually subsided when Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh resigned and a new constitution was adopted in January 2014.
Selma Hédia Mabrouk is a secular Tunisian politician who served on the 2011 Tunisian Constituent Assembly as a representative of Ettakatol party for the Ben Arous district. She made international headlines when she revealed that the initial draft of the constitution was attempting to define women as a "complement with the man in the family, and an associate to the man in the development of the country." The revelation was shocking to Tunisian society, where women had achieved rights unknown in the rest of the Arab world, and caused immediate outrage. Mabrouk's social media posts were instrumental in having those passages struck from the final constitution.
Sayida Ounissi is a Tunisian politician representing the party of Ennahdha. She currently serves as Secretary of State for Vocational Training.
Z is the nom de plume of an anonymous Tunisian political cartoonist and online activist whose humorous cartoons and writings have appeared on his online blog DébaTunisie, which he launched in 2007, and have targeted the government of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and the administrations that followed the Tunisian Revolution of 2011.
Sami Fehri is a Tunisian entrepreneur, producer and director. He is also the founder of the private Tunisian channel “Ettounsiya TV” and the general director of the private production Company Cactus Production.
The Tunisian Association of Democratic Women is a Tunisian feminist association which was founded in 1989.
Zakia Dhifaoui is a Tunisian teacher, journalist, and human rights activist who fought against the regime of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali before the Tunisian revolution of 2011.
Naïma Ben Ali, is the former First Lady of Tunisia and the first wife of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. She served as First Lady from 1987 until her divorce from Ben Ali in 1988.
The 2008 Gafsa strikes, also referred to as the Gafsa Social Movement, Gafsa events or the revolt in the Gafsa mining basin is an important social movement that shook the mining region of southwestern Tunisia—particularly the town of Redeyef, but also Moularès, Métlaoui, and Mdhilla—for nearly six months in 2008. These events took place in the phosphate-rich Gafsa mining basin, 350 kilometers southwest of Tunis, in a central region hard hit by unemployment and poverty. The protests were the most important social unrest known by Tunisia since the “bread riots” in 1983–84 and since the coming to power of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in 1987.