Historical legacies and gender attitudes in the middle east

Veronica V. Kostenko, Eduard D. Ponarin, Olga N. Strebkova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses transformation of gender attitudes in several Arab countries. After the Arabic Barometer pattern the study analyzes cohort differences in 13 countries. The article hypothesizes that in some Arab societies, the rollback of gender attitudes towards patriarchy is partly due to the ideological shift of the 1970s and 1980s. Then socialist-oriented secular national movements began to fade, and they were replaced by the trend of political Islamism. At the same time, the youngest cohorts in the most gender-conservative countries (for example, in Saudi Arabia) are somewhat less patriarchal than previous generations. We test our assumptions using the example of Yemen. The current territory of that country used to exist in 2 separate states between 1967 and 1990: the South supported by the Soviet Union and the North influenced by Saudi Arabia and the Western bloc. We trace the support for gender egalitarianism across generations in the two parts of Yemen and show that the secular socialist ideology made a profound imprint on the attitudes of a whole generation and made those who were in their twenties back in the 1960s more egalitarian than the young people these days. The same is true, to varying extent, for the other countries of the region that had some socialist experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-146
Number of pages21
JournalVostok (Oriens)
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Arab Barometer
  • Cohort effects
  • GAM
  • Gender attitudes
  • Gender egalitarianism
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Yemen


Dive into the research topics of 'Historical legacies and gender attitudes in the middle east'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this