Najla Bouden Romdhane has been appointed Tunisia’s first woman Prime Minister. Najla, 63, is a former director of an education reform project and has held senior positions at Tunisia’s higher education ministry.
Originally from Kairouan, she is a French-educated geologist with a doctorate in geological engineering and is a lecturer at Tunisia’s National Engineering School. She has a Ph.D. from Ecole des Mines de Paris in earthquake engineering and specialised in seismic hazards in Tunis, the capital of the country
In Arab countries, which are plagued by deep-rooted patriarchy, it is very rare for women to hold senior political roles.
Najla was appointed as director-general in 2011 in charge of quality at the Ministry of Higher Education. She continued in the position of head of the Purpose Action Unit in the same ministry.
She had served Higher Education and Scientific Research for implementing the programmes, higher education reform projects, of the World Bank between 2016 and 29 September 2021, when the President appointed her as new Prime Minister of the country.
According to reports, till now, she does not have any political affiliation.
Many in Tunisia hope that Najla will revive the country’s image as the only Arab country that succeeded in carrying out a democratic transition among other Arab countries that also witnessed popular revolutions that toppled the ruling regimes, including Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.