Is the Middle East a Place for Women?

I know it’s a loaded question, but fortunately it was the topic of debate at the New Arab Debates in Amman. 

The Jordan Times reports that prior to the debate a poll was taken in which 73 percent of the audience denied the notion that “the Arab world is no place for women.” 

Increasingly, Jordanians are becoming more accepting of a secular mindset towards women, but as mentioned in previous posts women still have far to go to receive equal treatment in all spheres of society. 

There are several schools of thought when it comes to improving women’s equality.  The two the article above addresses are as follows:

 The glass is half-empty—and should stay that way—approach like that of former political development minister, Sabri Rbeihat.  He tells The Jordan Times that women make up less than 15 percent of the workforce, and he honestly thinks it should stay that way. 

Contrastingly, Salma Mims, executive coordinator for the Taqaddam Platform seeking a more liberal democratic Jordan, wants to celebrate how far women have come and look to improve conditions. 

I ask you readers, when is the last time pessimism has advanced thinking and society?—Never.

If you disagree I ask you to challenge me on that.  But being stagnant in thought and passively accepting that “way things are” is never a desired mindset—especially for those with political or societal power.