What Muslim Women Want

What do Muslim women want? According to this NYT article, a new Gallup poll revealed that:

When asked what they resented most about their own societies, a majority of Muslim women polled said that a lack of unity among Muslim nations, violent extremism, and political and economic corruption were their main concerns. The hijab, or head scarf, and burqa, the garment covering face and body, seen by some Westerners as tools of oppression, were never mentioned in the women’s answers to the open-ended questions, the poll analysts said.

Concerning women’s rights in general, most Muslim women polled associated sex equality with the West. Seventy-eight percent of Moroccan women, 71 percent of Lebanese women and 48 percent of Saudi women polled linked legal equality with the West. Still, a majority of the respondents did not think adopting Western values would help the Muslim world’s political and economic progress.

While I’m not the least bit surprised about these findings, I do wish the article gave more details.

The Gallup survey, “What Women Want: Listening to the Voices of Muslim Women,” does not appear to be online at all, but with some Googling, I found this other report, which reveals that the survey covered only eight Muslim countries: Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. But there are plans to cover as many as 39 majority-Muslim countries, so that’s a good start.


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