Freedom House has launched a new, comprehensive study titled Women's Rights in the Middle East and North Africa: Citizenship and Justice. The overarching goal of this survey is to facilitate and support national and international efforts to empower women in the Middle East and North Africa. The study presents a comparative evaluation of women's rights in 16 countries and one territory including: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine (Palestinian Authority and Israeli-Occupied Territories), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The survey identifies critical issues relevant to women's rights advocates as well as to national and international policy makers and implementers. Women's rights in each country are assessed in five key areas: 1) Nondiscrimination and Access to Justice; 2) Autonomy, Security, and Freedom of the Person; 3) Economic Rights and Equal Opportunity; 4) Political Rights and Civic Voice; and 5) Social and Cultural Rights. Survey results are presented through a set of numerical scores and analytical narrative reports.
The study also included a series of consultations with women's rights leaders in the region, and focus groups with the general population in Egypt, Kuwait, and Morocco in order to highlight the perspectives and recommendations of women's rights advocates and the general public.
Freedom House is an independent non-governmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world. Freedom is possible only in political systems where free expression, association, and belief are guaranteed; the rule of law prevails; the rights of women and minorities are protected; and government is accountable to the people. Freedom ultimately depends on the actions of committed and courageous men and women. We support nonviolent civic initiatives in societies where freedom is denied or under threat, and we stand in opposition to ideas and forces that challenge the right of all people to be free. Freedom House functions as a catalyst for freedom through its analysis, advocacy, and action.