Ignore what your small bubble of male friends on social media write about women’s rights, feminism and sexism. While we might think that there is hope in the Arab world when it comes to how men perceive women and their mission in life, a study just came out and the results are quite disturbing.
The International Men and Gender Equality Survey – Middle East and North Africa (IMAGES MENA) is a comprehensive study that focuses on the lives, backgrounds and mentalities of men, and their attitudes and actions toward gender equality.
Four countries were included in the survey; Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Palestine, due to their political, economic and social diversity. The researchers found that a quarter or more of the men surveyed in every country show support for at least some dimensions of women’s equality and empowerment. The same group of men question violence, support women in leadership positions, and often want to spend more time caring for their children.
Two-thirds to more than three-quarters of men believe that a woman’s main role is caring for the household. A huge majority of men also believe that it is their job to monitor and control the movements of women at home; a practice most men recalled starting in childhood.
While Middle Eastern women’s economic participation has the lowest rate, half of the men in the survey or fewer believed that married women and men should have the same rights. The majority would also accept a female boss.