Survey: Egypt the Worst Country in the Arab World For Women's Rights

According to a survey of gender experts published
by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Egypt is the worst country
in the Arab world when it comes to women’s rights. Saudi Arabia,

where women are not allowed
to travel abroad without
permission, drive, or open a bank account, came in two places ahead
of Egypt.

The survey cites high levels of harassment, genital mutilation,
and trafficking as some of the factors contributing to Egypt’s
place on the list.

From the
Thomson Reuters Foundation

Sexual harassment, high rates of female genital cutting and a
surge in violence and Islamist feeling after the Arab Spring
uprisings have made Egypt the worst country in the Arab world to be
a woman, a poll of gender experts showed on Tuesday.

Discriminatory laws and a spike in trafficking also contributed
to Egypt’s place at the bottom of a ranking of 22 Arab states, the
Thomson Reuters Foundation survey found.

According to the Thomson Reuters Foundation article, an April
United Nations report found that 99.3 percent of women and girls
are the subject of sexual harassment in Egypt. The article also
cites the claim, made by UNICEF, that 91 percent of Egyptian women
and girls are subjected to genital mutilation.

That the experts polled believe that Egypt is a worse Arab
country to be a woman in than Syria, where a brutal civil war is
being waged, is shocking. While Egypt has yet to descend into full
blown civil war, recent events such as last summer’s coup and the
military-backed government’s crackdown on supporters of the Muslim
Brotherhood have not contributed to stability or the safety of
Egyptian women and girls. More from the Thomson Reuters

Syria’s civil war has had a devastating impact on women at home
and in refugee camps across borders, where they are vulnerable to
trafficking, forced and child marriage and sexual violence, experts

Rights groups say forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have
targeted women with rape and torture, while hardline Islamists have
stripped them of rights in rebel-held territory.

“The Syrian woman is a weapon of war, subjected to abductions
and rape by the regime and other groups,” a Syrian women’s rights
campaigner said.

shows that three of the five Arab Spring countries
(Yemen, Syria, Egypt) are now in the top five worst countries in
the Arab world for women’s rights. Some may have hoped for the Arab
Spring, which began almost three years ago, to usher in a new and
better environment for Arab women. Unfortunately, this has yet to
be realized.  

from Hit & Run

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