Jump to navigation. A reluctance to use condoms has helped lead to a rise in HIV infections in the Arab world. Paul Keller under a Creative Commons Licence. Sex in the Arab world is the opposite of sport. This is what a gynaecologist in Egypt told me. Everyone talks about football but hardly anyone plays it; whereas everyone is having sex but no-one wants to talk about it.
Young women in many cultures in the developing world still face challenges that result in their marginalization. The problem also exists with many cultures of the Middle East. As a result, women are the most widely affected by problems such as war, rape, and poor health, low level of education or literacy and disease. Similarly, the high incidences of polygamy, cultural pressure, and violence have diminished the voice of young girls when it comes to negotiating for a good and safe reproductive health. The Middle East is known for its high preference of family values, as well as conservative and paternalistic culture. In the pre-modern Middle East homosexual activities, though rare, did exist largely in the context of dominance.
Let's talk about sex in... the Arab world
In my travels to the Middle East and North Africa, when I ask young women which subject they are most interested in discussing, their answers almost always revolve around freedom. This used to catch me off guard: I always anticipated political questions from the Middle East. But what is even more surprising is that many of these women want to talk about relationships, life and sex.
I left Morocco more than 15 years ago. With the years and the distance, I have surely forgotten quite how difficult it is to live without the freedoms that have become so natural to me. I am Moroccan and, in Morocco, Muslim laws apply to me, whatever my personal relationship with the religion. I learned that I could not be homosexual, have an abortion or cohabit.