On November 12, almost three years after the Arab Spring, the Thomson Reuters Foundation released the findings of a perception poll assessing the state of women's rights in the Arab world. The survey received massive media coverage internationally.
Despite hopes that women would emerge as one of the prime beneficiaries of the Arab Spring, the results of the poll – the third in a series of annual surveys assessing women’s rights across the world – instead indicated that women have become some of the biggest losers, as the revolts have brought conflict, instability, displacement and a rise in Islamist groups in many parts of the region.
Egypt ranked as the worst country to be a woman in the Arab world, followed closely by Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Tunisia, where the revolution started, ranked 6th best. The other Arab Spring countries, Syria and Yemen, ranked 18th and 19th – worse than Sudan, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and insurgency-hit Somalia, which scored better.
Foundation CEO Monique Villa appeared on several broadcast outlets to discuss the findings, including CNN, Sky Arabia, BBC World Service, Radio Canada, Radio France Internationale, and Radio Radicale (Italy). She also appeared live on a prime-time current affairs show on BBC Arabic TV to discuss the finding of the poll with two Egyptian women, one an ex-candidate to the presidential election. Both agreed that the situation was very bad for women in Egypt.
Articles on the poll ran in English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, and several other languages. Major global outlets covering the story included CNN, Al Jazeera,Globo, The New York Times, Time, Le Monde, El Pais, Il Corriere della Sera, The Telegraph, Publico, The Evening Standard, The China Post, and many others.
BBC World Service included the poll in the main headlines at the top of the hour on November 12 between 6-10 am, and featured the story on the main page of the global BBC News website, which was shared over 3,000 times.
The Independent (UK) featured the story on the front page of the November 12 print edition. The story was also featured online and shared on social media over 4,000 times, generating more than 500 comments.
The poll also received widespread social media attention. Facebook generated over 1,455 unique page views for the Foundation’s website trust.org. The main info-graphic posted in English on the Foundation’s main account was shared over 250 times, reaching over 6,500 people. The Egypt info-graphic (English) on the Foundation’s main account was clicked over 700 times. France 24 shared the poll through Facebook, reaching over 1,437,187 people.
The full interactive results, methodology and special editorial coverage of the poll are available in both English and Arabic. English landing page: poll2013.trust.org; Arabic landing page:araa.trust.org; Hashtag: #arabwomen