Paper: Against the Tide: Why Gender Attitudes Remain Profoundly Conservative in Arab Countries
The Arab region retains deeply conservative gender attitudes against the trend of moves to more liberal values generally across the globe. Arab citizens say they support gender equality but women are generally treated as second class citizens especially in family law. Islam is often blamed for gender conservatism, but the systematic repression of political alternatives to Islamism and often-perfunctory way in which women’s equality agendas are treated by autocratic regimes are more important. Efforts to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women need to be led by Arab women and men and incorporate Islamic feminists as well as secular ones.