The Thomson Reuters Foundation has released a study highlighting women’s rights across the Middle East. This study collected information from a number of gender experts across the globe.
The study consulted over 20 Arab States that are all members of the Arab League and the results found that Egypt was the had the worst women’s rights of all those studied.
This is the third annual study conducted by the foundation that consults over 300 gender experts in the region.
This report was created by highlighting data that was compiled by these experts through a questionnaire that discussed different aspects of a woman’s life such as the number of women who hold political and economic roles in the nation, the number of violent crimes committed against women and the treatment of women in their households.
As mentioned, in the unfortunate position of first place, Egypt was found to have the very high rates of female genital mutilation in addition to an abundance of sexual harassment.
Earlier this year, in April, the United Nations conducted a survey in the country and found that close to all the women residing in Egypt have been victims of sexual harassment.
In addition, Amnesty International Researcher found that during the Tahrir Square Revolution, “We’re talking about women being surrounded by crowds of men in public and having their clothes ripped off and being touched and penetrated. In some case people were raped too.” Much of the blame for both of these social aspects has fallen on extremist Islamic groups who had discarded the quota for women in Parliament once they had been elected.
In addition to these two acts of sexism, many discriminatory laws are in place in the nation’s judicial system. Also, due to the chaos that the uprisings have cause, there has been a dramatic increase in female trafficking. According to the Global Fund for Women, “There are whole villages on the outskirts of Cairo and elsewhere where the bulk of economic activity is based on trafficking in women and forced marriages.”
In second place was Iraq followed by Saudi Arabia.
Saudi is a nation that is infamous for banning women from the simple right to drive. The nation also denies women a number of basic human rights, although it is not banned, the government have made it very difficult for women to own any sort of property.
However, with regards to education and employment, the Kingdom scored higher than many other Arab nations. In addition, as difficult as it may be to believe for many, the country also scored higher regarding violent crimes against women.
On a more positive note, the Comoros ranked the best nation in this aspect where one fifth of all ministerial positions were occupied by women. The Sultanate of Oman was next followed by the Kingdom of Jordan.