The Arab world is struggling on many fronts: the economy, legal rights, governance, women’s rights, unemployment, and, in some parts, education. These are the issues that continually come up when you look at challenges facing the region. These issues are all important to the development of a stable future for the MENA region. Nonetheless, I believe that sectarianism is the greatest threat that women face right now. Yet, we deal with the other issues because they are easier to work with, easier to give aid to, easier to talk about, and easier to measure. They are not messy; they are not as nuanced; they are not as complex.
In 2013 there was a continuation of increasing sectarian or political conflict in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, and Bahrain, which, along with the mini civil wars being fought in many of these countries, undermined the security, national cohesion, and unity that are the most essential ingredients for prospering stability. In many of these countries, education and economic opportunities for both genders suffered. Many of the advances that were enjoyed there, especially for women, are being rolled back due to the war-like atmosphere that has been created.
Women’s rights advances
One of the top priorities to help stabilize the region should be large-scale, long-term, faith- and education-based solutionsMuna AbuSulayman