Poll: Egypt Is Worst Arab Country for Women

In a poll of 22 Arab states, Egypt comes bottom and Comoros top for women's rights

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Egypt is the worst country in the Arab world to be a woman, according to a new poll.

In the poll of 22 Arab states released Tuesday, the Thomson Reuters Foundation found that “discriminatory laws and a spike in trafficking” contributed to Egypt’s low ranking, along with high rates of sexual harassment, female genital cutting and the surge in violence following the Arab Spring uprisings.

“We women need a double revolution, one against the various dictators who’ve ruined our countries and the other against a toxic mix of culture and religion that ruin our lives as women,” Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahaway said in response to the poll.

Comoros, an island nation just off the eastern coast of Africa, ranked as the best Arab country to be a woman, followed by Oman and Kuwait. Women hold 20 percent of ministerial positions in Comoros and ranked top in reproductive rights. Masseande Chami-Allawi, a professor at the University of Comoros, told Reuters that “the role of women in Comoran society outside politics is well-known. Strong matrilineal traditions coexist with a patrilineal system inherited from Islam.”