UN gender equality report gives insight into Arab male identity

While the report's result confirmed stereotypes within the Arab world, it did also show there was a sizable minority of Arab men who were progressive.

Story highlights

  • Report claims to be the most extensive comparative study of men and women that has ever been undertaken in the Arab region
  • Respondents said they felt they were at a crossroads as they tried to negotiate a world of shifting gender identity
  • Shereen El Feki, co-principal investigator of the report, tells CNN without involving men in discussions, society is unable to close the region's gender gap.

(CNN)Do Arab men support gender equality? What challenges do they face in their daily lives? What does it mean to be a man in the Middle East and North Africa in 2017?

These are some of the questions that 10,000 men and women across Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories were asked in the International Men and Gender Equality Study in the Middle East and North Africa (IMAGES MENA).
"The findings are, in essence, a powerful riposte to the 'why-do-they-hate-us?' characterization of men in the region which has come to shape media coverage and policy making in many quarters," Shereen El Feki, a writer on sexuality in the Arab region and co-principal investigator of the report, tells CNN.