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Women’s rights see patchy progress across Arab world in wake of revolutions

The Observer

Libya: A guarantee of equality has been removed from the new constitution written after the revolution in 2011. There has been a rise in sexual assaults on the streets. Amnesty International claims discrimination against women “remains in law and practice.”

Yemen: Women were prominent during the 2011 uprisings but demonstrators today segregate themselves by gender. Discrimination is still enshrined in law. A quota of 30 percent for women in jobs in state agencies has been proposed but not yet debated. Child marriage remains legal with 52 percent of women marrying under 18.

Morocco: Reforms promised by King Mohamed VI are inching forward. A law that allows rapists to escape prison if they marry their victim is expected to be amended this year. Child marriage is illegal but has been on the rise over the past two years and there are moves to reduce the legal age from 18 to 16. There is only one female minister.

Tunisia: Women’s legal rights have not changed since the revolution in 2010-11 but it took violent street protests before the new constitution was rewritten to enshrine full equality. The ruling Islamist Ennahda party has 42 women among its 89 lawmakers and only 3 percent of teenage girls are married. Some in the country are worried about a rise in hardline conservatism.