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Enabling Women's Agency: Arab Women Speak Out
Unformatted Document Text:  Tracking #: ICA-19-11265 average, 30.3 years of age (range 15-60), and 28 percent were single. Close to two-thirds of the respondents had ever been married, and these women had an average of three children. About 21 percent of the respondents were non-literate, 17 percent had some primary education or had attended literacy classes, 11 percent had completed primary and/or preparatory school, 20 percent had attended secondary school, and some 29 percent had completed or continued beyond secondary school. Approximately 21 percent of the respondents reported that they had worked for cash on a farm or in a business in the two weeks prior to the survey. Because research has shown that women often underestimate their earnings, respondents were also asked if they had earned money over the past two weeks by selling goods or by providing services. Among participants, nearly 28 percent replied in the affirmative compared with only about eight percent of non-participants. There were no statistical differences between participants and non-participants for any of the sociodemographic variables other than with respect to earning money by selling goods or services, which is anticipated since it is highly correlated with entrepreneurship (Table 1). Impressions of the Videos Participants were the popular media or AWSO videos presented more realistic images of Arab women. Fully 93 percent of participants responded that the women in the videos were more realistic. When asked who could benefit from seeing the AWSO videos, the responses were as follows: other women (97 percent); politicians (91 percent); girls (88 percent); men (84 percent); boys (78 percent); and foreigners (61 percent). A participant from Jordan said: “Women in the video are real, the ones on TV are false. All should see it so that they will not discriminate between boys and girls.” Ideational Factors The training workshops were designed to enhance participants' knowledge about where to obtain information, strengthen their self-efficacy, and increase their base of social support—all factors that were posited to lead to action. As shown in Table 2, participants were significantly more likely than were non-participants to report that they knew where to get information about each of the specific issues included in the questionnaire. "The training has taught me many Table 2. Knowledge, Efficacy and Social Support Reported by Respondents, by Participation Status Ideational Factor Non-participants (n = 117) Participants (n =254) p value Knows where to obtain information about: Personal or business loans Health matters Training you might need Personal affairs Local activities Women’s committees 40.2 93.0 86.6 67.9 46.4 35.7 68.8 97.2 94.3 88.8 65.1 69.3 .000 .014 .006 .000 .004 .000 Efficacy, Respondent believes she can: Make own decisions Make decisions for the family Work for an income Offer opinion on family matters Offer opinion on local issues Participate in local affairs 79.1 58.7 67.0 74.6 27.1 37.6 95.9 79.5 84.1 92.1 53.2 67.2 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 Perceived social support (mean)+ 2.5 3.1 .019 + Student's t-test Source: 2001 Arab Women Speak Out Posttest Survey, JHU/CCP

Authors: Underwood, Carol R. and Jabre, Bushra.
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Tracking #: ICA-19-11265
average, 30.3 years of age (range 15-60), and 28 percent were single. Close to two-thirds of the
respondents had ever been married, and these women had an average of three children. About 21
percent of the respondents were non-literate, 17 percent had some primary education or had
attended literacy classes, 11 percent had completed primary and/or preparatory school, 20 percent
had attended secondary school, and some 29 percent had completed or continued beyond
secondary school. Approximately 21 percent of the respondents reported that they had worked
for cash on a farm or in a business in the two weeks prior to the survey. Because research has
shown that women often underestimate their earnings, respondents were also asked if they had
earned money over the past two weeks by selling goods or by providing services. Among
participants, nearly 28 percent replied in the affirmative compared with only about eight percent
of non-participants. There were no statistical differences between participants and non-
participants for any of the sociodemographic variables other than with respect to earning money
by selling goods or services, which is anticipated since it is highly correlated with
entrepreneurship (Table 1).

Impressions of the Videos
Participants were the popular media or AWSO videos presented more realistic images of Arab
women. Fully 93 percent of participants responded that the women in the videos were more
realistic. When asked who could benefit from seeing the AWSO videos, the responses were as
follows: other women (97 percent); politicians (91 percent); girls (88 percent); men (84 percent);
boys (78 percent); and foreigners (61 percent). A participant from Jordan said: “Women in the
video are real, the ones on TV are false. All should see it so that they will not discriminate
between boys and girls.”

Ideational Factors
The training workshops were designed to enhance participants' knowledge about where to obtain
information, strengthen their self-efficacy, and increase their base of social support—all factors
that were posited to lead to action. As shown in Table 2, participants were significantly more
likely than were non-participants to report that they knew where to get information about each of
the specific issues included in the questionnaire. "The training has taught me many
Table 2. Knowledge, Efficacy and Social Support Reported by Respondents, by Participation Status
Ideational Factor
Non-participants
(n = 117)
Participants
(n =254)
p value
Knows where to obtain information about:
Personal or business loans
Health matters
Training you might need
Personal affairs
Local activities
Women’s committees
40.2
93.0
86.6
67.9
46.4
35.7
68.8
97.2
94.3
88.8
65.1
69.3
.000
.014
.006
.000
.004
.000
Efficacy, Respondent believes she can:
Make own decisions
Make decisions for the family
Work for an income
Offer opinion on family matters
Offer opinion on local issues
Participate in local affairs
79.1
58.7
67.0
74.6
27.1
37.6
95.9
79.5
84.1
92.1
53.2
67.2
.000
.000
.000
.000
.000
.000
Perceived social support (mean)+
2.5
3.1
.019
+ Student's t-test
Source: 2001 Arab Women Speak Out Posttest Survey, JHU/CCP


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