SURVEY: Israel Ranked as Best Country for Women in Middle East

Muslim women shopping in Israeli mall

World Economic Forum poll puts Israel way ahead of its Muslim neighbors in terms of women’s basic rights and freedoms.

Arutz Sheva reports that Israel is the best country in the Middle East for women’s rights and freedoms, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap survey concluded this week.

The survey, which has been conducted since 2006, ranks 110 countries in terms of gender equality and inequality, using a variety of factors including demographic data, socioeconomic figures, and a close look at women in the legal system.

In 2013, Israel ranked #53 for women’s rights worldwide – up two places since 2012 – but top for the Middle East overall. Middle Eastern and Muslim countries ranked lower on the list, possibly due to their lower human rights records overall.

Thomson-Reuters noted recently that several Middle Eastern countries – Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and others –  have a poor track record for violence against women, reproductive rights, as well as the treatment and role of women. Egypt bottomed out the list.

Muslim women shopping in Israeli mall

The survey’s results were published in honor of International Women’s Day, which was on March 8, and surfaces within days of reports that the Saudi Arabian royal family has been holding princesses captive against their will for several years.

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