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Activists call Tunisia's first female prime minister mere distraction

Tunisia's president has appointed a female prime minister, a first in the Arab world, but he has been both cheered and accused of using her to deflect attention from his policies.
FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images

When Najla Bouden was pronounced Tunisia’s first female prime minister in a decree by President Kais Saied on Sept. 29, her appointment was initially heralded as a milestone in Arab politics.

Bouden is the first female prime minister not only in Tunisia but in the wider Arabic world. Until now, she will be joined by nine more female ministers in the 25-member cabinet. However, she will not have the executive control that previous heads of government wielded. Executive, legislative and judicial powers lie firmly in the hands of Saied under another decree made Sept. 22. 

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