Egypt is the worst country for women in the Arab world, closely followed by Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen, according to gender experts surveyed in a Thomson Reuters Foundation poll released on Tuesday.
Comoros, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan and Qatar came top of the survey, which assessed 22 Arab states on violence against women, reproductive rights, treatment of women within the family, their integration into society and attitudes towards a woman’s role in politics and the economy.
The results were drawn from answers from 336 gender experts invited to participate in an online survey by the foundation, the philanthropic arm of the news and information company Thomson Reuters, in August and September.
Questions were based on key provisions of the U.N. Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which 19 Arab states have signed or ratified.
The poll assessed violence against women, reproductive rights, treatment of women within the family, their integration into society and attitudes towards a woman’s role in politics and the economy.
Experts were asked to respond to statements and rate the importance of factors affecting women’s rights across the six categories. Their responses were converted into scores, which were averaged to create a ranking.
One of the traditional pleasures of the Middle East — leisurely puffing on a water pipe filled with aromatic tobacco — has become ensnared in another of the region’s customs: that of Islamic conservatives decrying what they see as liberal Western decadence.
Hard-liners are denouncing some shisha cafes as a “moral menace” because they allow young men and women to mix freely.
The pastime of smoking shisha — also known as nargile, hubbly bubbly, hookah or by other names across the Mideast — may seem like an unlikely subject for a showdown over values. In Kuwait, however, little is off limits to the increasingly influential Islamists and their conservative allies.
Such ideological skirmishes flare often across the region, with Turkey witnessing battles over head scarves and Saudi clerics denouncing the temptations of the Internet. But tiny, oil-rich Kuwait has emerged as a particularly noisy battleground.
Islamists in Kuwait have stepped up their challenges to Kuwait’s Western-backed ruling family in recent years, first in Parliament and now mostly from the outside after boycotting elections. They have demanded death sentences for anyone convicted of insulting Islam, opposed women’s participation in sports and forced art galleries to cancel shows of artworks depicting hypocrisies such as Arab men enjoying a scotch.
Earlier this month, conservative members of Parliament lauded a government proposal to screen applicants for entry visas and bar gay or transgender workers.
Read the rest: Hookahs Draw Ire of Kuwait Islamists.
Dianne Wilton was dining with friends and a member of the Kuwaiti royal family in a restaurant when a woman attacked her table.
According to witnesses, the suspect had entered the restaurant in Kuwait on Monday looking manic and fled afterwards.
[ . . . ]
Speaking to The Times, Mr Wilton – who served in Kuwait from 2002 to 2005 – said: ‘She was extremely shaken up. She is all right but traumatised that this could happen at all.
‘The assumption is she (the attacker) singled out a table where Arab men were dining with obviously Western women.’
Kuwaiti police have reportedly arrested three women for not wearing any clothes underneath their abayas at a cafe in the Salmiya commercial complex, the al-Rai daily newspaper reported.
The report said that a local boy told his mother that he had seen one of their naked bodies. The mother then called the police and they were arrested.
The newspaper added that the women, one of whom was a minor – allegedly told police that they had just had sex in an apartment, consumed alcohol and “had become drunk.” They had then gone to the cafe afterwards.
Police reported to have phone the father of the two GCC girls, but he said he could not come to Kuwait as he was busy. The girls have been referred to the Criminal Investigations Department.
According to Marwa Tarek, a women’s rights activist and blogger in Kuwait, the women could face a number of criminal charges, especially if they are accused of being lesbians.
Read the rest HERE.
(hat tip to AtlasShrugs )
These women are in big trouble. They have flaunted Islamic doctrine, gone into the public space and shamed their families and their civilization. I hope that by some miracle, they are not sacrificed to the primitive god of their ancestors in the name of familial honor.