FACTBOX-Women’s rights in the Arab world

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation – Tue, 12 Nov 2013 12:01 AM

Nov 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Egypt is the worst country for women in the Arab world, closely followed by Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen, according to gender experts surveyed in a Thomson Reuters Foundation poll released on Tuesday.

Comoros, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan and Qatar came top of the survey, which assessed 22 Arab states on 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.

The results were drawn from answers from 336 gender experts invited to participate in an online survey by the foundation, the philanthropic arm of the news and information company Thomson Reuters, in August and September.

Questions were based on key provisions of the U.N. Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which 19 Arab states have signed or ratified.

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.

Experts were asked to respond to statements and rate the importance of factors affecting women’s rights across the six categories. Their responses were converted into scores, which were averaged to create a ranking.

Here are key facts on women’s rights in the 22 states surveyed, listed from worst to best.

22. EGYPT

Sexual violence, harassment and trafficking combined with a breakdown of security, high rates of female genital mutilation and a rollback of freedoms since the 2011 revolution put Egypt at the bottom of the poll.

* 99.3 percent of women and girls are subjected to sexual harassment.

* 27.2 million women and girls – or 91 percent of the female population – are victims of female genital mutilation (FGM).

* 63 percent of adult women are literate.

(Sources: U.N. Women, UNICEF, World Bank)

Read more: http://www.trust.org/item/20131111115632-hn9t2/?source=spotlight-writaw

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