Source: Council on Foreign Relations

he Arab Spring fostered hope for democratic reforms across the Middle East and North Africa region. Few of these hopes have come to fruition, with political violence, suppression of dissenting voices, and economic turmoil marking the region, rather than the political and economic reforms that had once seemed possible. In the realm of women’s rights, however, we are seeing slow progress.

Despite a restrictive system of male guardianship, Saudi women were recently given the long withheld right to drive. This summer, Jordan and Lebanon repealed laws that would exonerate a rapist if he married his victim. These two countries drew inspiration from a pioneering neighbor. Tunisia, the birthplace of the Arab Spring, was also the first to repeal the “marry the rapist” laws and has led the way in promoting women’s rights across the region.  READ MORE…

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