Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Egypt Ranks Worst For Women In Arab World In Thomson Reuter Poll

Believe it or not, Egypt tops the list as the worst Arab country for women, with Comoros coming in as the best, at least according to a Thomson Reuters Foundation survey.  I would have thought Saudi Arabia or Yemen would have taken top honors, but no, it's Egypt because of various factors including rampant and excessive sexual harassment, female genital mutilation (FGM), trafficking, the rise of Islamism (and the violence that has ensued) as a result of the Arab Spring,

The poll by Thomson Reuters' philanthropic arm surveyed 336 gender experts in August and September in 21 Arab League states and Syria, which was a founding member of the Arab League but was suspended in 2011.
The poll assessed violence against women, reproductive rights, treatment of women within the family, their integration into society and attitudes towards a woman’s role in politics and the economy.

99.3 percent of Egyptian women have experienced some form of sexual harassment, per a UN report in April. At the height of the anti-Morsi protests in June, 91 women were reported as having been raped or sexually assaulted in Tahrir Square, according to Human Rights Watch.

“The social acceptability of everyday sexual harassment affects every woman in Egypt regardless of age, professional or socio-economic background, marriage status, dress or behavior,” said Noora Flinkman, communications manager at HarassMap, a Cairo-based rights group that campaigns against harassment. “It limits women’s participation in public life. It affects their safety and security, their sense of worth, self-confidence and health.”

Then there's the trafficking and forced marriage of women. Zahra Radwan of  Global Fund For Women claims:

“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."
As for FGM, UNICEF says that a whopping 27.2 million women and young girls have been cut. That's 91% of the female population. Djibouti, though, beats Egypt by 2%.

Here's a list of how each country ranked (from worst to best):

22. Egypt
21. Iraq
20. Saudi Arabia
19. Syria
18. Yemen
17. Sudan
16. Lebanon
15. Palestinian territories
14. Somalia
13. Djibouti
12. Bahrain
11. Mauritania
10. UAE
9. Libya
8. Morocco
7. Algeria
6. Tunisia
5. Qatar
4. Jordan
3. Kuwait
2. Oman
1. Comoros

Ahram has more on why some of the others ranked worst.

But here's an article that discusses why ranking Egypt as number one is misleading.

They're all pretty pathetic when it comes to women's rights.

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