When asked in a Gallup poll in 2011 if their lives were better of worse after the Arab Spring, both genders rated it worse along with a decline in the national economy, but they believe their lives will be better in five years. Fewer women felt safe walking alone at night after the uprisings, although reported theft only increased in Tunisia. About 80% of both genders agreed that girls and boys should have equal access to education, but women were more likely to support women’s right to work outside the home. The greatest percent of men who opposed women’s paid work was in Yemen, while Syria was the only country where men were more supportive than women. The main influence on men’s support for women’s rights was not their support for Sharia but their economic situation. This suggests that economic difficulty is more of a threat to women’s rights than Islamic beliefs. Fewer men and women supporting women’s right to divorce, with Tunisia having the biggest gap between women’s and men’s’ support (49% of men were supportive compared to 81% of women). Women were more spiritual in their practices than men in all countries expect Yemen. Religious Arabs are slightly more likely to favor women’s rights such as ability to initiate divorce. Gallup found that religious views about Sharia law were not as influential as the economic situation.
“After the Arab Uprisings: Women of Rights, Religion, and Rebuilding,” Gallup, 2012.