Gender Relations in the Arab World: Progress in a Difficult Environment
Cilja Harders – 2011
In his first report on women, peace and security, issued in October 2002, the UN SecretaryGeneral Kofi Anan stated: ‘Women do not enjoy equal status with men in any society’. Gender matters as being a man or a woman globally marks a difference in access to resources and rights. As such, gender issues should not be confused with “women’s issues” as the always involve both, women and men. Still, as the situation of women often has been neglected, and differs markedly from the conditions of many men, a special focus on women is an important first step. The gender-dimension is a cross cutting issue which needs to be taken into consideration in fields like health, education, innovation, poverty, labour market, religion and culture, security, participation and governance. This short section cannot possibly describe the many different layers of women’s and men’s lives in the SEMCs. It can just highlight some major developments, shared concerns and marked differences.