[EN] Video Transcript

In this unit, we’ll explore respondents’ views on the expected role of women in the Mediterranean region. The three domains put forth were economic and business life, political decision-making, and cultural and social life.

Interestingly, both Europeans and southern and eastern Mediterraneans held nearly equal views at 54% and 53% when it came to women playing a greater role in the economy; their views differ for the social and cultural sphere, as 65% of southern and eastern Mediterranean respondents hope for an increased role for women, compared to 47% of Europeans, but for a reduced role in politics for 27% and 4% only of Europeans.

Let’s take a closer look at our experts’ comments on women’s expected role in these various spheres of life.

Inès Safi notes the important aspect that, “When studying more closely, country by country, and concentrating on the rates among men in favour of a greater role for women, it can be seen that it is almost impossible to group together, at the top of the list, the European countries before those in the [southern and eastern Mediterranean] countries in any of the fields”. She calls for the empowerment of women by offering them the possibility of freely choosing not only their own path but the ability to break free from ideological, political or religious systems. Safi further encourages the promotion of female role models, both in southern and eastern Mediterranean countries, and in Europe. Though stereotypes may impede steps towards dialogue, Safi concludes on an optimistic note, inspired by the aspirations expressed in the Survey, noting that they are aimed at the participation of women in the social and cultural fields (65%), which is particularly high in the South, and that cannot be underestimated in relation to economic and political roles.

Mohamed Tozy notes that results show high hopes for the convergence of certain values, though there is only one idea that seems to cause reluctance: a more important political role for women. This is shown to be even stronger in countries where religion plays an important role in shaping identities, such as Poland, Israel, Jordan and Palestine. He further urges realisation that one finding demands serious consideration: Tunisians came in first concerning an increased role for women in the economic field at 65%, ahead of the Dutch at 55%.