Islamists are Coming
A U.N. declaration on women’s rights contradicts “established principals in Islam” and would “lead to the complete disintegration of society,” according to a new statement by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. The online statement warned that the ratification of the document would “be the final step in the intellectual and cultural invasion of Muslim countries.”
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.
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.
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.
Iran is now viewed unfavorably in 14 out of 20 Arab and Muslim countries, according to a new poll by Zogby Research Services. The survey results show a growing antipathy towards Tehran, especially in Sunni countries. Majorities in all but four countries agreed that Iran is contributing to sectarian division in the Arab world.
The official United Nations theme for International Women’s Day 2013 is “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.” Women leaders from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon were asked how government and civil society can combat gender-based violence. Nearly all of them called for tougher legislation to criminalize violence against women.
International Women’s Day will celebrate economic, political and social achievements of women on March 8. Female leaders in five Arab countries were asked to discuss women’s achievements from the last year.
Wajeha al Huwaider reflects on the status of women in Saudi Arabia five years after she started a campaign for the right to drive.
On March 3, Secretary of State John Kerry released $250 million in aid to Egypt. Kerry made the announcement after President Mohamed Morsi pledged to implement painful economic reforms needed to secure an International Monetary Fund loan. Kerry discussed ways the United States can support Egypt’s economy and democratic transition during his two-day visit to Cairo—his first visit to an Arab capital since taking office.
The most important achievement of Egyptian women over the past year is their emergence as a formidable and active voting block of 23 million voters. Moreover, women broke many taboos by camping out in the streets alongside men, challenging traditional expectations of their behavior.