Tag Archives: women’s liberation

Recent Middle Eastern Gender Attitudes: Women’s Place is in the Home

A survey that doesn’t offer much hope for the future, the UN Women and Promundo survey of 10,000 people in Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon and Palestine reported in 2017 that 87 percent of Egyptian men and 77 percent of Egyptian women believed that women’s role is to “care for the home” and 90 percent of men and 58.5 percent of women believed that men should make the final decisions (El-Behary, 2017). Over half the men and one-third of women thought that women sometimes deserve to be beaten and half the women and 70 percent of men supported female genital cutting (FGM). Only a quarter of the men and 42 percent of women believed that women should have the same freedom to access the Internet.

Younger men were not more liberal; the study authors suggested that the difficult economic situation produced a backlash as unemployed men feel insecure about their masculinity and they were raised in an increasingly conservative Islamic climate. Younger men were more opposed to women politicians than older men. About half of the women in the four countries also had traditional views, although educated people are more likely to support gender equality.

On the hopeful side of the survey, two-thirds of Egyptian men surveyed supported gender equity in education, equal pay for both genders and were willing to work with women. Three-quarters of Egyptian women wanted the same right to work; however, the study showed that almost 90 percent of women believed that men’s employment is more important “if employment is scarce,” which it is. Many more Egyptian women believed that women could be the leaders of political parties, 76 percent compared to 39 percent of men.  As long as Egyptians vote for a military “pharaoh” inequality will remain.

El-Behary, H. (May 8, 2017). 87 percent of Egyptian men believe women’s basic role is to be housewives. The Independent. Retrieved from

http://www.egyptindependent.com/87-egyptian-men-believe-women-s-basic-role-be-housewives-study/

Suggested Reading

Nermin Allam. Women and the Egyptian Revolution: Engagement and Activism during the 2011 Arab Uprisings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2017

Mona Prince and Samia Mehrez. Revolution Is My Name: An Egyptian Woman’s Diary from Eighteen Days in Tahrir by 2015. (Prince ran for president of Egypt in 2012.) Cairo, Egypt: The American University in Cairo Press, 2015.

Samia Mehrez. Translating Egypt’s Revolution: The Language of Tahrir. Cairo, Egypt: The American University in Cairo Press, 2012.

Samia Mehrez, ed. Arts and the Uprising in Egypt: the Making of a Culture of

Ahdaf Soueif. Cairo: My City, Our Revolution. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2012.