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Abstract

This study aims at contributing to the debate on whether countries with large Muslim populations will embrace gender equality. The role of women in Islamic societies remains a highly charged political and cultural issue. Women’s issues are vital in the shaping of modern debates on democracy in predominantly Muslim countries.

This study utilized the 2012 Pew Global Attitudes Survey. The seven Islamic countries polled by the Pew Global Attitudes Project were Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey. In the survey, nine questions were asked of a sample size of roughly 7,000 respondents. We examined attitudes towards women’s equality by analyzing Muslims’ responses, looking at the effects of country, education, socio-economic status, age, income, religiosity and other variables.

Some of the preliminary findings suggest that across the seven nations surveyed, broad majorities support gender equality but women are generally more likely to endorse equality than men.

Note on the Author

Saidat Ilo is a doctoral student at Howard University in Washington, DC, USA. Her areas of specialization are International Relations and American Government. She is currently working on her dissertation titled, Governance and Growth: Examining the Competing Bilateral Economic Relationship among Nigeria, China, and the United States 2001-2011.

Richard Seltzer teaches Research Methods in the Political Science Department at Howard University.

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