Yemen, Iraq and the Palestinian territories see regression.
Women in the Middle East have made notable advances over the past five years, with modest overall improvements in women’s rights, literacy, educational attainment, political participation and economic role, an extensive multinational study has found.
The 18-nation study, led by the U.S.-based Freedom House, found that while on the whole, Middle Eastern women still suffer from a “substantial deficit in women’s rights” described as the “most severe” on earth, 15 of 18 Arab countries have seen increases in women’s literacy rates and suffrage over the past five years.
Yemen, Iraq and the Palestinian territories, however, were each found to have seen significant regression in women’s rights, amid rising religious extremism or internal conflict.
Leading the way in the advances cited by the research group were Kuwait, where women won the right to vote in 2005; Algeria, where custodial mothers won recognition of their parental authority and proxy marriages were banned; and Jordan, which introduced increase penalties for so-called ‘honor crimes’, in which a woman deemed to have deviated from various social norms is murdered by a relative to defend the family’s honor.
The study found that women are now more likely to attend university in som… >>>