Arab Wonder Women

As though to coincide with International Women's Day, arabianbusiness.com recently published its list of "100 Most Powerful Arab Women." These ladies hail from 16 Arab nations and a variety of sectors: government, science, culture and society, media, banking and finance, construction and industry, retail, sport, transport, IT and telecom, and real estate.

I sifted through the list to see how countries stack up in terms of what the magazine deems "powerful woman": she who has "worked hard to become a champion in her own field and a winner in her country." Rather subjective, if you ask me. After a bit of research and number-crunching, I discovered the following: UAE has the highest number and proportion (by country population) of these divas, 23 from a country of 5.47 million people. Saudi Arabia follows with 15, but their population is vaster, at 26.9 million. Lebanon offers up 12 of its own women, from a pool of 4.13 million. Here are the numbers, sorted in descending order by population proportion:

RankCountryCountPopulation (millions)Proportion
1UAE235.4740.000420%
2Kuwait112.6950.000408%
3Bahrain41.2810.000312%
4Lebanon124.1320.000290%
5Qatar42.0420.000196%
6Palestine44.0190.000100%
7KSA1526.940.000056%
8Tunisia410.8350.000037%
9Oman13.1540.000032%
10Jordan26.4820.000031%
11Syria622.4570.000027%
12Yemen325.4080.000012%
13Egypt685.2940.000007%
14Iraq231.8580.000006%
15Algeria238.0880.000005%
16Morocco132.6490.000003%


Conclusion: Either women in the Gulf are extraordinarily more active than their female Arab peers, or this  magazine (UAE-based) favors its own folk. In either case, happy women's day!

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