Gender Equality in the Middle East: Pamela Abbott and Andrea Teti write for The Conversation
Pamela Abbott and Andrea Teti analyse gender attitudes in six Middle Eastern countries using data from the Arab Transformations Project public opinion surveys.
Against a gradual rise of support for gender equality and women’s empowerment across the globe, public opinion surveys suggest that Arab citizens are profoundly resistant to promoting gender equality. Islam is often identified as the cause of this resistance. Some even claim that such differences are evidence of a ‘clash of civilizations’ between the West and the Islamic world, often depicting the treatment of women and girls as proof of ‘backwardness’ and ‘barbarism’. Data from public opinion surveys shows that while there are considerable differences between Arab countries, conservative values on gender are clearly entrenched, and may have grown more so after the 2010-2011 Arab Uprisings. Islam is often blamed for such conservatism, but the lack of progress on gender equality is the product of internal and external causes, including the systematic repression of political alternatives to Islamism and the often-perfunctory way in which women’s equality agendas are treated by autocratic regimes.
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Pamela Abbott and Andrea Teti (2017) Against the tide: why women’s equality remains a distant dream in Arab countries, The Conversation
Author: ArabTrans Project