Gender Equality and MENA Women's Empowerment in the Aftermath of the 2011 Uprisings

Arab Transformations Working Paper 10

54 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2017

See all articles by Pamela Abbott

Pamela Abbott

School of Education, University of Aberdeen

Date Written: January 20, 2017


This paper examines gender equality and women's empowerment in the MENA following the 2011 Arab Uprisings. The paper reports findings from the ArabTrans survey, a comparative public opinion survey carried out in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia in 2014. Arounf 1,500 respondents were interviewed in each country on a range of questions including a module on gender attitudes. This is supplemented by data from the Arab Barometer II and II and the World Values Survey Round 6. It examines attitude to gender equality in education, in employment, in politics and in the family.

All six countries have conservative gender attitudes and strong support for personal status law. A majority of respondents support but they are less supportive of women being political leaders and strongly support at least some elements of personal status law. education for girls and the rights of married women to work outside the home However, attitudes in Libya and Egypt are significantly more conservative than those in Jordan and Iraq, Morocco and Tunisia have the least conservative values. Attitudes had become less conservative in Iraq and Morocco in the 10 years prior to the survey while those in Tunisia had become more conservative since the Uprisings in 2010. There were no age differences in attitudes to gender equality but men are significantly more conservative than women. there is little relationship between support for democracy and support for gender equality.

Keywords: Gender, Arab Uprisings, Shari'a, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia

JEL Classification: N45, N47

Suggested Citation

Abbott, Pamela, Gender Equality and MENA Women's Empowerment in the Aftermath of the 2011 Uprisings (January 20, 2017). Arab Transformations Working Paper 10, Available at SSRN: or

Pamela Abbott (Contact Author)

School of Education, University of Aberdeen ( email )

Aberdeen, Scotland
United Kingdom

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