By now, the Arab Human Development Report produced under the sponsorship of the UN Development Program is an annual event, an unusually liberating and truth-telling event. Already three of them have been issued, and in December a fourth, on the status of women in the Arab world, was released in Yemen. The introduction to the report is a bit of apologetics, exculpating Islam for the grim position of women in the most significant spheres of the Muslim orbit. Still, you will learn a lot from the document and even from the report on the document appended here. It is not a pleasant picture. And it expands on the insights of David Landes' masterful book, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations.
The report on the report has been produced by the ever-invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). Here it is.