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This book explores the complexity of women's social status in the Middle East and North African region and fills a gap in the existing literature by providing an up-to-date and comprehensive portrait of women's status from a theoretical and socio-demographic perspective. The author debunks some common assumptions regarding the economic, cultural, and demographic transformations of the MENA region. The book highlights the social forces that have transformed the region over the past several decades. Debunking requires exploring the inter-relationship of multiple factors that influence women's integration into public life, factors such as fertility, education, employment and labor migration. It necessitates examining the impact of sudden oil wealth in the region as well as looking at the complex ways in which patriarchal systems are intertwined and often embedded in religion and then enforced by governments.

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