One of the major drivers of the popular uprisings that swept through the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in 2011 was widespread economic stagnation and frustration. Five years later, economies throughout the region continue to struggle, even in relatively peaceful states. Governments are under pressure and are resorting in some cases to unprecedented measures in hopes of spurring growth and development. To this point, however, most MENA countries continue to underutilize a potentially extremely valuable resource: women.
Bessma Momani, nonresident fellow at the Brookings Doha Center