Often cited as a retroactive justification for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the issue of women's rights is still what separates the West from the Middle East, writes Max Dunbar. "The emancipation of Occidental women was the only successful revolution of the twentieth century and led to unprecedented success and advance. Conversely, the Arab world, despite its undeniable creativity, talent and industry, is a world of poverty and despair. The UN’s Arab Human Development Report of 20005 recognized explicitly the obstacle gender inequality posed to development in the region. People in the Arab world live short, unhappy lives and die of preventable causes, and this is because it is ruled by clerics."