The women are many and of all ages gathered before the delegation headquarters of Jebiniana, home to more than 44,000 inhabitants. Some are carrying young children in their arms. At first glance they appear to outnumber the men, which doesn’t surprise anyone. “Of course there are more women; they are misery’s first victims,” proclaims Wassila, who has come to demand a salary raise.

Skilled workers are paid 236 dinars, and all that we ask is that our salary match the SMIC [minimum wage], which is 316 dinars

Skilled workers are paid 236 dinars, and all that we ask is that our salary match the SMIC [minimum wage], which is 316 dinars.” They’ve been here for the past two weeks and have no intention of letting up, so strong is their anger. “Who worries about the unpaid electricity bill? Who worries about her son who won’t be able to replace his beat-up shoes? Who worries about not being able to prepare a meal for her children? Women!” exclaims Selma, the worry and fatigue evident in her eyes. The promises of authorities, repeated like a broken record, have only added insult to injury.