Although No.1 in Mid-East, Women’s rights are relative

Int’l survey on status of women ranks the Jewish state no.1 in the Middle East, but whether the glass is half full or half empty depends on context.



First, the bad news from the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Gender Gap survey: Israel ranks No. 53 worldwide for women’s rights. Now the good news: Among Middle East countries, Israel is No. 1.

Women protesting the exclusion of women, Jerusalem.

Women protesting the exclusion of women, Jerusalem. Sign reads, ‘They won’t see your face and they’ll take your money. Don’t buy from women excluders.’- Photo: Leora Darom

Virtual Jerusalem reports that the survey for 2013, concluded this week to coincide with International Women’s Day, found Israel rising two slots from No. 55 in 2012. The rankings include such criteria as economic and educational achievement, “health and survival” and “political empowerment.”

Among the other countries in the Middle East, Cyprus ranked highest for women’s rights at No. 79, with Yemen dead last on not only the regional list but the global one as well at No. 136. The countries on Israel’s borders all finished near the bottom: Jordan (119); Lebanon (123); Egypt (125) and Syria (133). Turkey, considered the most westernized of Israel’s neighbors, finished No. 120.

Worldwide, Iceland wound up on top for the fifth year in a row, followed by the usual suspects Finland, Norway and Sweden. The United States finished No. 23, right below Burundi (22) and significantly beneath arch-nemesis Cuba (15).


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