Women across the Arab world often face a slew of societal and legislative challenges, many of which treat women as second-class citizens.
The fight for gender equality in various Arab countries has been a continuous work-in-progress, with a number of changes that have taken ground in recent years.
Female representation, or lack thereof, in the political sphere is just one example. In many Arab countries, women had to put up a fight to cast their ballots in local elections.
Eventually, women were granted the right to vote, months or years after men in their respective countries.
When did women in Arab countries gain the right to vote? Here's a glimpse:
1. Lebanon (1952)
Women in Lebanon were granted the right to vote in 1952; however, the percentage of their representation in every parliament ever since has been consistently low.
Lebanon's current 128-member parliament has only four women. However, the upcoming elections - which saw a new electoral law take ground, with no quota for women - witnessed a record-breaking number of female candidates register.
Out of a total of 976 candidates, 111 women will be running in the 2018 elections set to take place in May. In 2009, just 12 of the 702 candidates were female.
2. Syria (1953)
Although Syria recognized women's right to vote in 1949, they officially gained the right to vote and run for parliament in 1953 under the constitution, according to a UNICEF report.
In the 1950s, Thuraya Al-Hafez became the first woman to run for a seat in the Syrian parliament. However, the first time women made it to parliament was in 1971, taking four seats out of a total of 173.
By 1981, the number of women deputies had increased to 10.
According to 2017 data released by The World Bank, Syrian women hold 13 percent of seats in national parliament in the country, despite the country's ongoing crisis.
3. Egypt (1956)
Egyptian women were granted the right to vote and became eligible to run for office in 1956. However, there was a caveat: women were required to be literate to vote, whereas men were not.
In 2015, Egypt's High Elections Committee revealed that 13,878 women (compared to the 3,130 men) cast their ballots during the first three hours of voting.
However, women's participation in the political sphere in Egypt has been quite limited over the years. A quota for women was introduced in 2009, granting 12 percent of seats in the house exclusively for women, according to Al Jazeera.
Following the unrest in 2011, in which Egypt's totalitarian ruler Hosni Mubarak was forced out of power by massive country-wide protests, all quotas for women were removed, according to Middle East Voices.
In 2013, Egypt's Constituent Assembly announced that 25 percent of municipal seats will be reserved for women.
Doria Shafik, one of the principal leaders of the Egyptian women's liberation movement in the 1940s, is credited with granting women the right to vote, following an eight-day hunger strike at Egypt's press syndicate in the 1950s, in protest of the creation of a constitutional committee without any women.
4. Tunisia (1956)
Tunisian women obtained the right to vote and run as candidates in elections under the country's 1956 Personal Status Code, which is considered to be the "backbone of women's rights legislation" in the country.
The law gave women the right to vote, to be granted a seat in parliament, to earn equal pay, and to initiate divorce.
Women in Tunisia voted for the first time in municipal elections in May 1959, while the country appointed the first female minister in 1983.
Following the ousting of former president Ben Ali in 2011, the country began implementing a "zippered list" model, alternating the names of male and female candidates on electoral lists, which effectively guarantees women seats in parliament.
Women have a greater share of seats in Tunisia's Parliament than women have in the French Parliament, according to The New York Times.
5. Algeria (1962)
Women in Algeria gained the right to vote and stand for election in 1962, according to a UNICEF report. That same year, a woman was appointed to parliament for the first time.
As of 2017, women hold 26 percent of the seats in the country's lower house of parliament (National People's Assembly), according to The World Bank.
6. Morocco (1963)
Women in Morocco were granted the right to vote and stand for election in 1963, according to a UNICEF report. However, it wasn't until 1993 that a woman was elected to parliament for the first time.
The country's electoral code was revised in 2002, introducing a proportional list system and a 30-seat-quota for women in the parliamentary elections.
Still, women filled less than 1 percent of the contested posts in 2003. In 2009, a 12 percent quota saw an increase in women's political representation.
As of 2017, women hold 21 percent of parliamentary seats in Morocco, according to The World Bank.
7. Libya (1964)
8. Jordan (1974)
Women in Jordan were granted the right to vote and stand for election in 1974. There have been numerous steps taken to increase women's political participation, including a quota for women under Article 8 of the electoral law.
The system allocates a minimum of 15 parliamentary seats for women in advance, one from each governorate.
In 2016, an unprecedented number (250) of female MPs took part in the parliamentary elections, winning 20 seats out of a total of 130 seats.
A campaign to increase the female quota to 23 seats was proposed in 2016 but failed.
9. Iraq (1980)
10. Yemen (1983)
Women in South Yemen gained the right to vote and stand for election in 1970, whereas women in North Yemen in 1983. The unification of Yemen in 1990 did not enhance the inclusion of women from the political scene.
"Women have been fighting for it for a long time," said Amal Basha, a prominent Yemeni human rights advocate, when speaking about the fight to secure representation for women in public office, according to Al Jazeera.
As of 2014, there has been only one woman in a 301-member parliament and only three out of 35 ministers are female.
As of 2017, women hold no percentage of seats in parliament, according to The World Bank, as opposed to 4 percent in the 1990s.
11. Oman (1994)
In 1994, Oman became the first Gulf country to grant women the right to vote.
In 2003, the country appointed its first female minister, Aisha bint Khalfan ibn Jamil Al-Siyabi, as the head of the National Authority for Industrial Craftsmanship.
In 2004, Dr. Rawya bint Saudi Al-Busaidi became the first woman in the country to fill the role of Higher Education Minister.
According to the BBC, the number of women candidates running for the Consultative Council elections dropped from 27 in 1997 to 15 in 2004.
However, in 2011, the number of women who ran for seats went up to 77, but only one candidate was eventually elected, according to The National.
Female representation in the country's government has seen a steady increase. In 2016, 7 women were elected to municipal councils in Oman, out of 23 women in the running.
12. Palestine (1996)
During the PLC elections in 2006, women accounted for 11.2 percent of the candidates and 46 percent of the voters, according to a UN Women report.
Only 12.9 percent of national parliamentarians are women (12.3 percent in the West Bank; 15.9 percent in the Gaza Strip) as of January 2006, according to UN Women.
"When it comes to the woman, she does not know who she wants to vote for. The husband is the one to tell her who to vote for. We faced this in 2006 with the legislative elections and we faced this in the 2012 local council elections, too," said Palestinian activist Shireen Mohammad Abu Helal, following the 2006 elections, according to The Jerusalem Post.
In 2016, the names of female candidates in the running for municipal elections in the West Bank and Gaza were replaced with "sister of...", "wife of...", or initials on the campaign materials.
13. Qatar (1999)
Women in Qatar were allowed to vote and stand for elections for the Central Municipal Council (CMC) in 1999. However, it wasn't until 2003 that women were granted the right to vote under the constitution, according to a UNICEF report.
In 2015, five women ran for the municipal elections in Qatar, out of 130 candidates in total. In a historic win, two women - Sheikha Jufairi and Fatma Al-Kuwari - were granted seats in the 29-member council, which has advisory but no legislative powers.
Sheikha Jufairi became the first woman to ever win a municipal election in a GCC state in 2003 and was joined by Kuwari in 2015.
14. Bahrain (2002)
That year, 8 women candidates took part during the elections, none of whom secured spots in parliament.
In 2006, 18 women ran for office and Latifa Al Quod managed to secure a spot in a historic win.
For the first time since parliamentary elections were held in 2002, more than one woman will be present at the 40-member lower chamber.
15. Kuwait (2005)
In 2005, Kuwaiti women were granted the right to vote and stand for election, according to a UNICEF report. That same year, a woman was first appointed to parliament for the first time ever.
In 2011, women occupied five out of 65 seats (8 percent of the seats) in the lower house of parliament.
In 2016, 15 women ran as candidates for the 50 open seats in Kuwait's 65-member parliament. However, only one woman secured a spot.
As of 2017, women hold 3 percent of seats in parliament, according to The World Bank.
16. United Arab Emirates (2006)
In 2006, about 6,500 people (men and women) in the UAE were given the right to vote or stand in the Federal National Council (FNC) elections, according to CNN. The number of people eligible to vote or run as candidates in the FNC has increased over the years.
In 2011, nearly 130,000 people were granted the right to cast their ballots. In 2015, 224,279 people took part.
The FNC has 40 members - half of whom are granted a spot if elected by groups of people allowed to vote (electoral college). The other half are nominated by rulers of each of the seven emirates.
Women hold 66 percent of government jobs in the UAE, 30 percent of which are senior decision-making positions.
17. Saudi Arabia (2015)
In 2015, women were allowed to cast their votes for the first time ever and were also given the chance to run as candidates in municipal elections.
That year, 130,000 women registered to vote, compared to 1.35 million men. A total of 978 women registered as candidates, alongside 5,938 men, according to the BBC.