Monday, November 11, 2013

Exclusive: Egypt Is Worst Arab Nation for Women; Over 99 Percent of Women Suffered Sexual Abuse

The fallout from the political upheaval in Egypt has made it the worst country in the Arab world in which to be a woman, according to research published exclusively today (November 11, 2013) in The Independent (British) website.

Increasingly, commonplace sexual violence has combined with plummeting female representation in parliament and growth in more extreme Islamic views to push the country to the bottom of the region for women's rights. According to United Nations research published earlier this year, more than 99 percent of women and girls in Egypt have experienced some form of sexual harassment.

The island nation of Comoros -- where women hold 20 percent of ministerial positions and wives generally keep land or the home after divorce -- came out on top, according to the research released today. It was followed by Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, and Qatar. On the other hand, Iraq was ranked second-worst after Egypt, followed by Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen.

In politics, Egypt's uprisings have brought disappointment for women, with female representation in parliament falling from 12 percent to just 2 percent following the abolition of quotas. It was hoped that the Arab Spring would have presented fresh opportunities for women, but instead the situation has become worse for many, as revolts have resulted in conflict and instability.

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