A poll of 16 countries indicated that a slim majority of Palestinians believe women's rights have become less equal in the West Bank and Gaza, according to a report published by worldpublicopinion.org. The study also showed that there is widespread consensus among most of those surveyed that it is important for "women to have full equality of rights."
The poll included Western and Muslim countries and also showed that men and women varied very little in their responses to this issue.
The report added that "very large majorities in nearly all nations polled perceived that, over the course of their own lifetime, women have gained more equality of rights as compared to men." On average 71% of respondents perceived that women have gained greater quality of rights with 29% saying that they gained "much" more equality, the study stated. Forty-two percent said they had gained "little" equality.
The two exceptions to this trend were the Palestinian Territories and Nigeria. Slightly more than half (51%) of Palestinians said that women's rights had become less equal while 41% said they had grown more equal. In Nigeria, the response was split with 46% responding that women had achieved greater equality and exactly the same amount saying the opposite.
Despite the increased perception of an improvement in women's rights, large majorities would like their government and the United Nations to take an active role in preventing discrimination.
The poll was released as part of International Woman's Day, a date recognized by the United Nations and observed around the world. This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the UN General Assembly's adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose second article declares that all are entitled to the same rights and freedoms, regardless of sex as well as race, language, religion, or other status.