Tenuous In Tunis

Lana Asfour assesses the women's rights movement in the wake of Ben Ali:

Nadia Hakimi, the executive director of the Association des Femmes Démocratiques, told me that a general swing back to conservatism is likely, and she believes that Islamists deserve to express themselves after their terrible persecution. … It was the ‘crazy contradictions of this country’ that caused Nadia to shake her head in frustration. ‘Whole families were terrorized under Ben Ali,’ she said. ‘Yet it was his party, and not the leftists, who defended women’s rights.’ The Arab Spring has opened up the region to the unknown, and no one can predict exactly how events will unfold or how popular the Islamist parties ultimately will be.