Syria is a Middle Eastern country that shares borders with Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, and Lebanon, as well as with a Mediterranean Sea coastline. The population of approximately 21.8 million is primarily Arab (90.3 percent) and Muslim (74 percent Sunni Muslim, 16 percent other Muslim). The legal system is based on French and Ottoman civil law, while the family court system is based on Islamic law. In 2009, Syria increased the punishment to men convicted of “honor killing” of female relatives suspected of illicit sexual behavior.

The World Economic Forum rates Syria as one of the most unequal countries in the world with regard to gender. On the Gender Gap Index, which ranks countries on a scale of zero (unequal) to one (equal), Syria received an ...

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