Middle East Survey Sees Patchy Progress in Views on Women's and LGBT Rights

LONDON - More men than women in Iraq say they have been sexually harassed, while only 6% of Lebanese people think being gay is acceptable, according to a major survey of public opinion in the Middle East published on Monday.

The wide-ranging study, conducted by researchers at Princeton University, found although support for women's rights and for female leaders was growing, many people still felt men should have the final say in family matters.

"Opinions regarding women's rights and their roles in society are progressing unevenly in the Middle East and North Africa," said Aseel Alayli of Arab Barometer, the research network that conducted the survey. "There is little agreement that women should play equal roles in public or private life."

Arab Barometer surveyed more than 25,000 people across 10 countries and the Palestinian territories for the study, which was commissioned by BBC News Arabic.

Its findings have revealed the complex and often conflicting views held by people in the region on LGBT+ and women's rights.

Attitudes are shifting on certain topics, the research showed, with Jordanians and Moroccans more supportive of women gaining a university education than they were in 2006.

Several Gulf governments including Saudi Arabia refused "full and fair access" to the survey, according to BBC Arabic News. Read more via Reuters