The Middle East’s War on Women

“Why Do They Hate Us?” It’s a crucial question posed by Egyptian-born, U.S.-based journalist Mona Elthaway in her cover story of Foreign Policy’s very first “Sex Issue.” Elthaway confronts the Middle East’s war on women, arguing that the leaders of the Arab Spring uprising are just as misogynistic as the regimes they’ve overthrown. And wealth makes no difference, she notes, pointing out that not one Arab country ranks in the top 100 of the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report. “Poor or rich, we all hate our women,” she writes, pointing out that Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has been hailed for reformist policies, and yet women aren’t even allowed to vote in the country’s elections. Meanwhile, the new Egyptian parliament is run by men “stuck in the seventh century,” and the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t think a woman should run for president. In short, Elthaway attributes the Middle East’s hatred of women to a “toxic mix of culture and religion that few seem willing or able to disentangle.” As her article demonstrates, the first step to change is to “stop pretending.”

Read it at Foreign Policy

April 27, 2012 11:14 AM