WASHINGTON Muslim women do not think they are conditioned to accept second-class status or view themselves as oppressed, according to a survey released by The Gallup Organization.
According to the poll, conducted in 2005, a strong majority of Muslim women believe they should have the right to vote without influence, work outside the home and serve in the highest levels of government. In more than 8,000 face- to-face interviews conducted in eight predominantly Muslim countries, the survey found that many women in the Muslim world did not see gender issues as a priority because other issues were more pressing.
When asked what they resented most about their own societies, a majority of Muslim women poll respondents mentioned a lack of unity among Muslim nations, violent extremism, and political and economic corruption. 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. Read more…