Arab Human Development Report 2005

07 Dec 2006

Towards the Rise of Women in the Arab World

“Towards the Rise of Women in the Arab World” is the fourth issue in the UNDP-sponsored series of Arab Human Development Reports. It concludes a comprehensive analysis of development deficits affecting the region by examining shortfalls in women’s empowerment.


The Report opens with a survey of development trends in the region during the period in review. Its analysis of its main theme starts by outlining some core concepts and defining issues that frame the human rights and human development dimensions of the rise of women in Arab countries.


The Report next offers a situational analysis of the state of women in Arab societies, focusing on the acquisition and use of essential capabilities, and resulting levels of well being. Following an evaluation of the historical achievements and limitations of Arab women’s movements, the central chapters probe the interaction between cultural, religious, socioeconomic, legal and political components of Arab societies that influence the status and prospects of women.


The report concludes with a strategic vision offering broad guidelines for promoting the advancement of women in the region.


Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Part 1. Changes in Human Development in the Arab Countries Since the Launch of AHDR 2004
  • Part 2. Towards the Rise of Women in the Arab World
  • Chapter 1. Concepts and Reference
  • Chapter 2. The Acquisition of Basic Human Capabilities
  • Chapter 3. The Use of Human Capabilities
  • Chapter 4. Levels of Human Well-Being
  • Chapter 5. The Arab Women's Movement: Struggles and Experiences
  • Chapter 6. Culture
  • Chapter 7. Social Structures
  • Chapter 8. Legal Structures
  • Chapter 9. Political Economy
  • Chapter 10. A Strategic Vision: Two Wings for the Rise of Women
  • References

Document Highlights

  • This Report is an independent publication.
  • The Report considers that, as human beings, women and men have an innate and equal right to achieve a life of material and moral dignity, the ultimate goal of human development.
  • Arab society does not acknowledge the true extent of women’s participation in social and economic activities and in the production of the components of human well being, and it does not reward them adequately for such participation.
  • Despite the tremendous spread of girls’ education in Arab countries, women continue to suffer more than men do from a lack of opportunities to acquire knowledge.
  • The new generation of women’s associations is distinguished by its qualitative closeness to the topic of women and women’s issues. It considers these as central questions no less important than those of democracy, development, and human rights.
  • The impact of women’s movements in Arab countries has varied from one country to another. Their principal achievement may have been to increase awareness among women of the lesser status accorded to them and the need to work to change it.
  • The participation of women in civil society organisations for legal and political action further helped to re-educate society to accept an active female presence