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– By giving the peace prize to a quartet including Ms. Ouided Bouchamaoui´s organisation, the committee has emphasised the importance of establishing trustworthy relationships between employer associations, labor unions and the civilian society to create stability, peace and development. Ms. Ouided Bouchamaoui, a business woman and the first female president of the Tunisian employer association, has been a central force in the development of her homeland after the arab spring, says Per L. Saxegaard, Chairman of Business for Peace.

Ouided Bouchamaoui is representing the Tunisian employeer association in the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo today.

A role model for business leaders

Ouided Bouchamaoui_For her admirable ability to make business a strong force in developing the society, Ouided Bouchamaoui was named a Business for Peace Honouree in 2014.

In 2014 the Business for Peace Award was stated that “Ms. Bouchamaoui is a stellar example of businessworthy leadership, of dedicating one’s business energy to creating economic value that also creates value for society, through responsible and ethical work. While Tunisia’s challenges remain, it is from individuals such as Ms. Bouchamaoui a nation can draw hope for a better future.”

Ms. Ouided Bouchamaoui of Tunisia leads the Hedi Bouchamaoui Group, a family owned business spanning more than a hundred years. In January 2013, Ouided Bouchamaoui was elected the first woman President of the Tunisian Confederacy of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, in recognition of the responsible stewardship demonstrated in the family business.

Within weeks of her election, she initiated a strategic move to collaborate with the Tunisian General Labor Union, through signing a Social Contract. The agreement aimed to provide decent work conditions at all levels, it expanded employment opportunities, and structured wage policies – as well as helping improve competition between enterprises.

She then initiated a national dialogue on the economy, bringing together the Tunisian President, Prime Minister, President of the National Assembly and major participants from private and public enterprises. Their task was to set up a roadmap and a plan of action to slow down the crisis and help the economy.

Ms. Ouided Bouchamaoui is a role model for other business leaders with her engagement for the development of society. The positive role in societal development is often underestimated. Establishing jobs and sustainable businesses is one of the most important requirements for lasting peace, says Per L Saxegaard.

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