May 20, 2013
Blasphemy and apostasy laws were applied in a discriminatory manner in several Middle Eastern and North African countries in 2012, according to a new report by the U.S. State Department. “These laws are frequently used to repress dissent, to harass political opponents, and to settle personal vendettas,” Secretary of State Kerry said on May 20.
Apr 19, 2013
Responding to the Muslim Brotherhood, leading female activists are charging that Islam actually guarantees women wide-ranging rights–and that the largest Islamist movement in the Arab world merely wants to maintain male dominance. In March, the Brotherhood had warned that U.N. passage of a draft declaration on violence would lead to society’s “complete disintegration.” It said that the declaration contradicted Islamic principles by allowing women to have full sexual freedom and marry outside their faith while cancelling the need for a husband’s consent to “travel, work, or use of contraception.”
Apr 12, 2013
On April 11, G8 foreign ministers condemned attacks on residential areas in Syria and warned that chemical weapons use would “demand a serious international response.” Ministers from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom also reaffirmed their support for the six Deauville Partnership transition countries ― Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen. The partnership, launched in May 2011, supports four areas key to successful political transitions: economic stabilization, job creation, good governance, and economic integration.
Apr 10, 2013
Fair pay, unemployment and rising living costs are top concerns of Arab youth, according to a new survey by Asada’a and Burson Marsteller. "Being paid a fair wage” is the top priority of 82 percent of respondents for the second year in a row. Owning a home, also for the second consecutive year, remains the second-highest priority of Arab youth.
Mar 24, 2013
President Obama said Syrian President Bashar al Assad has lost his legitimacy and “must go,” during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 20. Obama, on his first presidential visit to Israel, warned that the Syrian regime “will be held accountable for the use of chemical weapons or their transfer to terrorists.”
Mar 21, 2013
“I see a Muslim Brotherhood crescent developing in Egypt and Turkey,” Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned in a series of interviews with The Atlantic. The monarch said the Muslim Brothers are not necessarily interested in democracy. They are “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
Mar 15, 2013
Women in the Middle East and North Africa are more educated than ever before, but their participation in the workface is 25 percent – about half of the world average, according to a new report by the World Bank. “Often what stands between women and jobs are legal and social barriers,” said Manuela Ferro, Director for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management in the MENA region. But even some educated women lack the relevant skills currently in demand.
Mar 15, 2013
The Arab uprisings have “generated a spike in threats to U.S. interests… that will likely endure until political upheaval stabilizes and security forces regain their capabilities,” according to the U.S. intelligence community’s new worldwide threat assessment. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper delivered the report to the Senate on March 12.
Mar 13, 2013
In the wake of the Arab Spring, women are not participating in the drafting of new constitutions and political violence against them is on the rise. In this interview, Special Representative to Civil Society for the League of Arab States Haifa Abu Ghazaleh discusses the challenges women of the MENA region are facing in the post-Arab Spring period and prospects for their future.
Mar 07, 2013
Many women in the Middle East and North Africa are experiencing physical violence and are being pushed out of public life, according to a new report by the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.