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5 Arab Women who are Breaking down Stereotypes and Building their Countries

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Mar 01, 2016 / 0 Comments
Jordanian self-defense trainer Lina Khalifeh of @SheFighter helps empower women - Credit: AlArabiya English

There is a horrible old saying in some Arab countries: Women belong to their homes and husbands only. They shouldn’t be educated, work, or have an opinion. This belief, unfortunately, still dominates some areas in the Arab world. But modern, educated, and strong-willed Arab women and men find this saying backward and unfitting.


Women are 49.7% of about 345.5 million people in the Middle East and North Africa region. Some in the West think of these women as zipped up in a tent in the desert, probably beaten up by their husbands, a stereotype many of today’s Arab women fight and prove wrong.


Yes, there are still many barriers remaining in the way of closing the gender gap in the Arab world, but many advances have been made in education, politics, entrepreneurship, labor, and health. Arab women today are entrepreneurs, leaders, activists, educators, Nobel Prize winners, and much more. They are reshaping their societies and building a better road to gender equality and girl empowerment for generations to come.


Here are some of many stories on how women from different Arab countries are reshaping their societies and fighting gender inequality:


Continue reading this article on World Bank blog.

Bassam Sebti

Prior to the World Bank, Sebti worked as a Senior Arabic Editor/Iraq Assignment Editor at General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) where he edited, managed and assigned news articles for He also wrote and edited daily news articles in both English and Arabic for GDIT’s Middle East portal,  

Before that, Sebti was the Arabic editor of the International Journalists' Network (IJNet), a multilingual media training resource published by the Washington D.C.-based International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). He also worked on building ICFJ's online journalism training courses and assisted in running journalism training programs worldwide.

Prior to working with ICFJ, Sebti was a special correspondent for The Washington Post in Iraq, where he covered the war and the political process from September 2003 to July 2006.


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