June 25th, 2012
12:05 AM ET

Religion is not the biggest enemy for Arab women, poll finds

In accepting the Nobel Peace Prize last year, Yemeni activist Tawakkol Karman thanked women of the Arab world for her medal. Without their struggle to win equal rights, she would not be there, she said.

The greatest challenge in that quest is not religion but the lack of economic and social development and a dearth of perceived security, said a Gallup Poll released Monday.

"The idea that coming in with a secular liberal social program as the solution to fixing how societies view women isn't supported by the evidence," said Dalia Mogahed, executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies.

She said the women in the Middle East have very much the same priorities as women in America. They want to lead prosperous lives.

"The research shows that human development and overall education and economic empowerment are the most important interventions we can make to help women's rights," Mogahed said.

The Gallup report urged policymakers to allow Arab women's own priorities to guide efforts at gender equality.

Gallup conducted multiple surveys of 1,000 people each time in Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen and Libya.

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Filed under: Arab Spring • World
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Philip @ Rascal

    Hogwash. The blood spilled by men calling themselves "christians", "jews, "muslims", etc far outweigh, and exponentially so, that spilled by men calling themselves athiest or pagan.
    Why can you NOT see this statistical truth? (and i see you ignored where 'hell' came from. even the very idea of a god whom would allow anyone to be burned alive forever is repulsive, and one of the big reasons people are turned-off about God.
    Like those who claim God made this universe, this earth, in a matter of days. How totally rediculous to anyone with a brain.

    June 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
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