Google Doodle celebrates prominent Tunisian physician Tawhida Ben Cheikh

Google celebrates the female physician with this doodle. (File/Google)
Google celebrates the female physician with this doodle. (File/Google)
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Updated 27 March 2021

Google Doodle celebrates prominent Tunisian physician Tawhida Ben Cheikh

Google Doodle celebrates prominent Tunisian physician Tawhida Ben Cheikh
  • The doodle honors the late physician, as a feminist and pioneer in and out of the medical field

RIYADH: Search engine giant Google celebrated on Saturday the life of Tawhida Ben Cheikh, the first woman credited to practice medicine in North Africa, with one of its iconic doodles.




A young Ben Cheikh can be seen here. (File/Internet)


The doodle honors Ben Cheikh as a feminist and pioneer, and marks one year since she was commemorated on Tunisia’s 10-dinar bill, making her the first female doctor on a banknote.


She was the first Tunisian female to graduate from secondary school in 1928, and proceeded with her education — sidestepping expectations of women prevalent at the time — to earn her medical degree in Paris at the age of 27.




Ben Cheikh became the first female physician to be emblazoned on a banknote. (File/AFP)


On her return to Tunisia, she opened her own free medical practice — a move that would transform Tunisian medicine by providing greater access to modern healthcare.


She later on became the head of the maternity department of the city’s Charles-Nicolle hospital in 1955 and in the 1970’s, founded Tunisia’s first family planning clinic.


Apart from her role in medicine, she was also a social activist and founder of Leïla, the country’s first French-language women’s magazine—becoming an icon for women in the region.