Women empowerment is the burning issue all over the world. Ladies from all over the world are fighting for their rights. Some countries have empowered their women while other still considers women nothing and provide them with no rights. Even women from some countries lack their basic rights to live peacefully and spend a comfortable life.
Women empowerment is a broad term which refers to the creation of such environment in which she can take the decision of her own to lead a comfortable life. It is also beneficial for the betterment of the society. The basic rights which every woman need are as following
- To live a life with self-respect dignity and self-worth.
- Have complete control on her life both inside and outside the home.
- Capable of making her own decisions.
- Have complete right to attend social, political as well as religious events.
- Can determine social and financial choices.
- Can get an education as well as educate her children.
The Arab world is developing day by day, they are economically strong and have good relations with other countries. Like the other development process, the countries are also focusing on the hot issue of women empowerment. Although the development is slow but it is progressive.
The point of view of the people is widely changing and they are now appreciating the concept to make the women powerful and provide them opportunities to grow in the society. The women empowerment is important because of the following reasons
- The 50% of the population is women. If they work then it can create a positive effect on the economy of the country.
- Women are equally competent if they are given equal opportunities then they can provide the best socio-economic setup in the region.
- Women are talented, by getting the education they can polish themselves, their abilities can be much beneficial for themselves as well as for the nation.
- The main benefit of the women empowerment is that they can play the best role for the development of the society and economic graph of the country can raise positively.
- Domestic violence and the poverty can be reduced if the women are given their proper rights to live in the world peacefully.
Arab women are suffering from harsh and the cruel behavior of the men, there is need to encourage them so that they can live in the society confidently. Some of the facts about the women empowerment in the Arab world are described below.
Men are always considered dominant as compared to the women. Women are always seen as ratcheting up when compared with the men. This concept comes under the patriarchal concept which clearly defines the fewer rights of women as compared to the males. The Arab ladies are still lacking the rights to live a comfortable life.
At different times, researchers and the other people who keenly study about the behaviors of the men for the women describe that the Arabian women are still facing the problems related to their rights although the Arab leaders are trying to focus on the important issue of women empowerment. But there is still need a lot of work and effort to reach the desired goal.
The analysis by the researchers shows that the Egypt is the country having the worst women condition compares to Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The studies showed that the Egypt is providing not many rights to their women and one can easily see
- Gender violence
- Reproductive rights
- Sexual violence
- Poor behavior for them in family
They also scored badly in politics as well as the economical setups. Thus no one is paying attention to their needs and requirement. In a similar manner Libya, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Tunisia all are suffering from the similar conditions like in the Egypt, although the countries are trying to develop such policies that are beneficial for women and keep them safe from the men who are a pessimist in such cases.
In Egypt and other Arab countries, the most women are illiterate and come from the poverty line. The attention is required to strengthen such women by educating them and giving them the complete knowledge of their rights.
For the analysis of the women empowerment, the UN convention to eliminate discrimination against the women invited the people to take part in the poll so that there must be a proper analysis about the women living in the Arab world that either they are getting rights or not. The Arab spring states have signed this convention to give the women a full opportunity to spend a life according to their legal desires.
The surprising results were seen after that poll which created a disappointing situation all over the world thus describing that the women are not getting enough rights rather they are abused and violated which can create the harmful psychological as well as the physical effects on their life.
The studies say that there is the gender gap exist in the Arab region that is causing the hurdles in the development of the regions. Arab Human development report has identified that discriminant between the gender is one of the important factors against the human development in the Arab world. Women currently make about 49 percent of total population n Arab countries. there are many barriers that are creating obstacles in the advancement of the countries.
Some of the facts that are diagnosed during the analysis and the survey of these regions are discussed below.
- This is the time of the latest technology, as the science is doing new researchers more high tech things are getting in trend. Unfortunately, unlike other countries, the women of the Arab world are unaware of the modern and the advanced technology. The latest survey shows that about 84 million ladies in the Arab are unconnected that is they do not attain mobile phones. About 91 million ladies in the region have a mobile which is 8 million less than the number of men who have their own cell phones. It is important to make the mobile phones cheap so that it helps to those who are unable to afford due to the gender discriminant.
- The MENA broadband report discuss another interesting fact about the Arab world that is the Arab region is the second largest gender gap is the world, the first one is African countries, The report says that out of 3, the 2 users are men, this shows the inequality in the usage of the internet connections. The leaders of the Arab nation are trying to sort out this inequality because it can reduce the poverty as well as it provides the job opportunities to both women and the youngsters.
- So the technology difference has largely affected the economy and the financial status of the Arab region by reducing the gender gap these regions can definitely stand and grow with the rest of the world.
- It is the common phenomenon when someone does not gets enough care or importance at home, office or among the friend then that person starts feeling anxiety that results in the severe The same situation is happening among the women that belong to the Arab world. The survey of the studies shows that that 7 out of the ten countries belong to MENA which is quite disappointing. The women are the important part of any house or the society, if she gets ill then much disturbance is created in the certain setup, same is the condition with the Arab region the ignorance is creating mental and other health problems in the women of the Arab countries. The women of age 15 to 49 are affected due to this inequality factor. The another interesting fact is that men are not happy in this region they are also suffering from depression but their ratio is far less than the women.
- Obesity is directly linked to the tension or depression, it is commonly seen the person who has some sort of issues he many get skinny or obese but does not remain healthy, the Arab region is suffering from the obesity. 55 percent of the women that belongs to the Kuwait are suffering from the obesity while in Egypt one by 2 of the women is facing this situation. In a similar manner, other eastern countries like Jordan, Bahrain, and UAE also falls in this category. This is an alarming situation, as obesity does not come alone but it causes other severe problems including cardiac arrest and mental disturbances.
- Djibouti and the Yemen are unfortunately too poor countries where many mothers die due to the maternity cases. In rest of the world, there is much less chance that the female or the child die due to the pregnancy or during the childbirth but Arab countries are facing these issues still. The survey report has shown that about 100 women in every 100,000 die in Yemen while 200 out of 100,000 in Djibouti region which is the sad aspect of the Arab world.
- it is a very alarming situation that is going on in the Arab world if the women are not getting their rights at the house or in lower setups than there is no hope for their placement in the political areas of the region. Although the empowerment is improving and the reports of 2006 have shown the double rate which is the positive sign for the women development. There are 25 percent women present in other countries while in Arab region only 7 percent exist in the parliament.
- Like the political department, the participation in various other department is also low. The global average women workforce is about 50 percent while it is less than 25 percent in the Arab region.
- Previously the education was not focused and the girls remain illiterate but now the continued effort of certain agencies, the girls are capable of attending the school which is an excellent symbol towards the development of the region.
- WEF gender gap report
Although the region is improving in many fields to catch other world but still there are many areas where the improvement is required. The WEF gender gap report clearly tells that the economic growth factor of the Arab world is rising and the Kuwait comes in number one it is the positive sign that indicates the empowerment as well as the encouragement of the women in the gulf regions. Still, there is a lot of work and effort requires to built the regions as other countries are still facing these issues, for example, Yemen stands at 142 gender gap index.
The teams who studies about all the data and working on the women empowerment complete their diagnosis after the many years of the hard work and effort. The gender gap report workers took 9 years to compile all the authentic data so that the world becomes aware of all the situations that the Arab world is facing. The teams are not only doing calculations and diagnosis but also are trying to implement such factors that are useful for the ladies as well as play part in the building of the new strong region in the world that can reflect the strong women power.
There are many social workers in the world that are working in this field and helping the world in enhancing their knowledge about the economic and other issues that different regions are facing in the world. The statistical data; that is obtained through the survey and diagnosis reports clearly show that the Egypt is facing the worst situation in the world and then comes the Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria. Kuwait, Oman, Jordan came at the top of the list of the survey report.
Female empowerment index
This is the graph showing the women empowerment ratio in the Arab world. The higher values in the graph show the more democratic development. The graph shown above is defining about the women rights and their development from 1940 to 2010. The political empowerment clearly states about the political issues like
- Civil society organization participation
- Freedom movement
- Right to the private poverty
- Access to the justice
- Sharing in different power sources.
The graph shows the comparison of the Arab countries in the MENA region. Tunisia did progress since mid of 1950 then the progress remains stable, the overall graph shows its higher ranking compared to the other cities. With the Arab springs, this region showed the quite different results in contrast to other states.
Calculation of the percentage at various Arab regions
For this purpose 336 experts were involved from the philanthropic company, the main aim was to make the world aware of the gender gap that exists in the Arab world. The statistics and the percentage value that exist in different Arab countries are discussed below.
As discussed above the Egypt comes at the bottom line because of the sexual harassment, violence, roll back of the freedoms since 2011. Many other factors are present in the country that are unlawful and against the human rights. The survey showed that
99.3 percent women faced sexual harassment while 27.2 percent women are subjected to female genital mutilation and the 63 percent women are literate. The proper calculation was provided by the UNICEF, U.N women. This is the serious issue, that the Egyptian government, as well as the human rights, must focus on to avoid such situations.
Iraq is the second country in the Arab world whose women are facing discriminant as well as the gender gap. The inequality is causing the lack of confidence in the women. Mass displacement has made women vulnerable to the sexual harassment as well as the trafficking. The other disappointing factor is that the men who kill their wives get the punishment of only three years instead of the life sentence. The statistics of the gender gap shows following results
14.5 women do the job that is the positive aspect while 1.6 million women are a widow in the country. Another annoying fact is that many women are forced to go to other countries and work as prostitutes.
It is the third worst country that is giving the fewer rights to their women. Being a Muslim country there must not be such situation present as the teachings of Islam strictly prohibit such violence and demand for the equal rights of men and the women. The kingdom leadership limits the women freedoms, although the women rights are limited in the region some of the progress took place in 2015 that is the women can vote in municipal elections that mean they have right to choose their leader which is the positive sign for the empowerment of women. If anyone doing the rape act must be punished and charged with adultery.
Women are not allowed to drive, they have to take the permission of the guardian to travel, enroll in education or to marry. These all rights she have to practice after the permission and supervision of her guardian. The gender equality graph in the Saudi Arabia shows the following results
The graph clearly shows that there is some improvement going on related to the gender equality.
The ongoing situation in the Syria and its border is creating many terrific conditions for the women. Many girls and the women are suspected of the sexual harassment as well as trafficking according to the report of the united nation. The 12-year-old girls are married in the refugee camp, while more than 4000 cases of rape have been seen and reported by the Syrian Network of human rights. The worst situation is that the arm forces when goes to the raid they do rapes and the sexual violence against the innocent women. It is really a miserable condition that is going in the country. No one is there to stop these militants for doing such annoying activities.
Statistical data related to the Yemen is also poor, there are no rules and regulations for the human rights, the women are suffering from the poor conditions and given sexual harassment. No laws are present to deal with such situations as well there is no minimum age for the marriage of the girls. The data shows that 53 percent of the women finish the primary school. Although the Yemeni women are fighting for their rights since 2011 but the progress is slow and needs much attention to improve the situation.
Like other Arab world countries Sudan also comes under the category where there are no specific rules for the women, the same situation of the sexual harassment, marriage at a young age as well the marital marriage all are common and no one is present to stop the people involved in such activities. What can be worst than that the girl is allowed to be married at the age of 10? It is an age of innocence and learning, this rule is just playing with the lives of the women.
Approximately 12 million ladies are the victims of the FGL. The victims got afraid and never tried to report the case.
There is the discrimination and the gender gap exist between the men and the women in a similar manner as other Arab countries, there is no employment for the women, biased inheritance laws are present, even there is no law for the sexual harassment at workplace, the cruel men enjoy doing such illegal and the shameful activities. The statistical calculation shows that out of 6 women are illiterate. There are no rights present to get citizenship for children or foreign-born husband, so the worst situation the country is facing that is not good for the development of the women as well as the region.
The another region is the Arab world that is giving no proper rights to the women of their country. Experts say that women are facing the situations like poverty, domestic violence as well as honor crimes. Although the literacy rate is 93 percent which is an excellent average for any country but only17 percent of the women are doing the job. The report from 2011 showed that about 51 percent women faced the domestic violence in the city of the Gaza. In 2013, it was reported that 25 women killed due to the honor crimes. It has created the worst environment and may result in severe consequences.
The country didn’t sign the CEDAW and facing many maternal deaths due to inadequate facilities for such women. The extremist is trying to implement harsh Islamic laws that are not good for the women health as well as to spend the free and comfortable life. The statistical data shows the poor situation about 12oo women dies each year during delivery time. about 1700 women were raped in the camps during 2012. Another miserable situation that the women are facing is that 13-year-old girls are suspected of adultery while 98 percent girls faced the FGL. As the extremist are controlling the country they have made their strict Islamic rules that does not let the women live peacefully as well as there is much mow women empowerment rights for the ladies.
The country is well known for abolishing the laws as well as discriminating against the women, there is the high rate of child marriages as well as the FGM. Some good aspects are also seen in the country, the Supreme court judge is female, in 2009 the law produced some changes in regard to women rights, but still there is the need of the improvement as 93 percent in the country faced the FGM that is not good and quite depressing for the young girls and the women.
The changes in the law have been implemented to improve the living condition of the low-income women in the country.
Bahrain shows somewhat positive aspect for the women rights although some discrimination is also present but it may be less as compared to the other Arab countries. a women testimony is half as compared to the men, the person who does the rape can prevent himself from punishment if he marries the victim. In 2002 the women used the right of the vote during the elections. Judges can make decisions against the child abuse, marriage, and inheritance.
The statistical data does not satisfy the women powers in the state of Mauritania, the women are facing rapes, sexual violence, and other discrimination, no one is present to ask them or save them from the cruel people. About 69 percent women are victims of the FGL as well 412 rapes cases were recorded in 2012. Approximately 1800 cases were seen for domestic victims. This is really the miserable and the disappointing situation that innocent Arab ladies are facing. The mothers are even not safe from such cruel people and the government is not taking many actions against this violence creating people.
United Arab emirates
The United Arab Emirates is the developed country with the latest technology and the much advancement related to the business. The country is known for the tourism and the best business place, the women are getting rights in this state. They have right to get the education as well as can do job-related to their education. There is the law for the women, there is no marital rape case and the 4 women sits in the cabinet of 22 in Federal National council. About 14 percent women represent the workforce. It is the good aspect that women are getting right in the UAE.
Libya also shows positivity towards the women, it has best political representation although poverty, insecurity, and lack of education are still the part but country is making effort for the women empowerment. In general national congress, about 33 women were elected in the cabinet of 2oo members. The women cannot marry before the age of 20 and this is the best for the girl as she becomes mature and has some sense related to the marriage.
Morocco women have independence but still, there are cases of women abuse seen in the country. About 17000 cases of violence were seen in 2008 which is really a big number, 44 percent of the women are literate. Domestic abuse is present which not a good feature from the government is.
Other countries like Algeria, Tunisia, Qatar, Jordan and Kuwait have the same gender discriminate. The women are facing violence, harassment as well as abuse from the cruel men. There are no shelters for the women and they have no right to lead the comfortable life. All these situations are making them depressed and unconfident as they cannot fight for their rights.
Comparison of women empowerment with Muslim countries
the graph shows the irregularity for the employment of the women. Syria showed progress in years 1992 but the rate keeps on declining and then raised in 1994 and show variable results in different times. It is the duty of the government to take the action against such prohibited rules that are self-created by the violence creating people.
Female empowerment index
The comparison shows that the women in Iraq faced the decline in the women empowerment between years 1960 and 2000. The Saudi Arabia didn’t show any progress related to the women empowerment. There is much need to improve the statistics related to the women empowerment
The women have the complete right to seek education and get whatever she wants. There must be such rules that give the women t powers to lead the life according to her wish and the requirement. In order to improve the health, behavior and other aspects of the women it is important to facilitate them with all the rights that are beneficial for them. It is the duty of the government to implement such rules that are in favor of the women. Some of the solutions that the government can use for the implementation f such laws that are helpful for the women are discussed below
The education plays an important role in making life sophisticated. The person seeking the education does not learn only the worldly knowledge but he also learns ethics and the behaviors, he knows to behave in the society and what type of confidence level can help him in the society. In order to give the women empowerment in the Arab world, education is a necessity, the government must implement such rules so that each and every girl try to go to school. It is the duty of the parents to send their innocent child to school so that she can gain knowledge as well as gain confidence. She gets power to fight against the curse and therapist who are trying to make the world worst place for the women. Many countries are providing facilities for the girls to get education free of cost. It is the good way to encourage the girls as they don’t have much finance to get an education.
Use of social media
If the girls get an education, they will definitely learn about the computer system they will know how to use cell phones. The social media is playing the key role in making the people educated. By the use of Facebook, twitter and other social sites they are getting knowledge about the new technology that is coming in the world as well as the girls and women get confidence related to this aspect. The social and the political transformation are playing the key role in the empowerment of women in the Arab region. The Arab women are becoming the main drivers for the regional change with the help of many stereotypes. The use of social media is increasing from 2011 the use of the social media has provided following benefits
- Civic engagement
- Political participation
- Entrepreneurial efforts
- Social change
All these changes are good for the women as they get confidence and can lead their life according to their style.
Practicing the skills
God has blessed every human being with some skills and talent, it is the effort of the person how he can utilize his skills to get the benefits. The women of the Arab world has been discouraged since ancient times, they didn’t get the right to avail the skills that are God gifted. The government and other agencies are making such efforts to make the women powerful. The are providing such opportunities to avail their skills, those women who can use the internet can avail the online job option or other skills to support herself and the family financially. Those seeking higher education are now becoming the part of the different organization for the betterment and the development of the country.
Turning youth in entrepreneurship
The government is trying to implement such programs that are beneficial for the youth. They are giving access to the young generation and the girls towards the entrepreneurship so that they can help in the progress of the country. The Arab business women are gaining the regional as well as the global recognition. The Yemen students have shown the remarked progress in the field thus making the women strong. The women have shown that if they are provided with the powers and the complete access they can do whatever they want like other women in the world. The Arab women are passionate and hardworking they can provide the best to their country if they get the opportunity. One of the best example made by the Omani girl she has made the e-book on the internet so that people can read the books online.
Gender gaps in the Arab world have taken various aspects, but the progress is going on for the better women rights so that they can spend the good and the healthy life.
The Arab world has the key role in the world because of the natural resources and the huge volume of the petroleum, they are considered best economies in the world. In order to become more strong and want to become powerful, it is important to develop such rules and regulations that show equality among the men and the women. If both genders work for the nation then there is definitely the positive change and the countries will grow and emerge with the great success. The development programs have estimated following annual growth by the year 2030 which will be great for both women and the nation.
Projected average annual growth rate in GDP
Although the Arab world has a poor image related to the women rights and empowerment but with the passage of the time, the growth rate and the equality is increasing. The government is trying to provide the best rights to the women who are facing such worst situations. The table clearly defines the growth rate and reduction in the gender gap in the Arab countries that is good for the development and the betterment of the countries in the future years.
Government, agencies and the United Nation have complete power to save the human rights and work for the better future of the women. There must be the implementation of the rules and regulations that are in the favor of the women otherwise the disappointing situation may arise in the Arab world. The healthy women can give birth to the healthy child and take care in the best way otherwise the suppressed women remain ill and unable to take the decisions related to the child development as well as cannot run home successfully. It is important to give her complete right not only for the development of the home but also it is good for the nation. Thus women empowerment is important not only in the Arab world also in the countries facing the inequality and gender gaps to make the world happy place to live.
By: Sami Jamil Jadallah
At the New Arab Foundation and the Arab Peace Corps, “ we give youths reasons to live for, not causes to die for.”
Caveat: With so many Arab countries each of which has its unique history and issues, it is difficult to write about the Arab world without offending someone, even offending everyone. It is the sad fact that the Arab world through its own doing and with help from colonizing power is on a course of self-destructing and making itself irrelevant to the world except as the largest market for military hardware. Continue reading New Arab Renaissance: Enabling Success.
Sahar Samy, Egypt
13 August, 2016
We are what we think, and if we think better we can be more efficient, creative and proactive… But how many of us stop to think about how we think?
We probably all agree that having an adequate system, processes and procedures in place are instrumental for business and education to grow and succeed. A pilot can’t fly to his exact destination without a set of monitors and gauges to guide the way and make sure everything is progressing well. Likewise, an organization benefits from systems and processes to drive its operational efficiency and help to optimize end-to-end performance.
Sami Jamil Jadallah
01 August , 2016
“Self Doomed to Failure” was the title of an article published in the Economist back on July 4, 2002, describing conditions in the Arab world. Of course, this was before the American invasion of Iraq, the Arab Spring and the ongoing civil wars taking place. That is why the New Arab Foundation and the Arab Peace Corps (non profit organizations) must succeed.
Keep the faith and simply look at other regions and other nations. Only 70 years WWII came to and end and with it a chapter of history that saw over 50 million dead, concentration camps, ethnic cleansing, carpet bombings in what was known as ‘Civilized Europe”. Keeping in mind the many “Arab Wars” costing trillions of dollars, destructions and the death of millions, all are self-inflicting. Continue reading Self-Doomed to Failure – Not if we do something about it.
Samar Fatany, Saudi Arabia
11 July, 2016
In the Arab world today, there are those who welcome the empowerment of women and support proposals to give women the opportunity to take leadership positions. Of great importance is the need to expose imposed non-religious values, trends and traditions that discriminate against women, marginalize their role and deny them their rights that Islam guarantees. Women who are capable, educated, can be contributing members of society. Progress cannot be delayed until all members of society are enlightened to address modern day issues that educated and professional women can address.