Although the statistics are less than perfect, here are the literacy statistics from across the region. Only four countries in the Arab World have literacy rates above 90%, representing just 4% of the 300 million Arabs. However, major gains have been made amongst youth age 15-24. In a few of the Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Palestine, Oman, and the UAE, we actually observe higher literacy rates amongst young females.
Literacy is only on aspect of the challenge. In several countries in the Arab World, our research shows (http://www.tahseen.ae/r&ifemalelabor.html#header) women still face significant obstacles to entering the workforce with high rates of employment in the informal sector.