"The findings are, in essence, a powerful riposte to the 'why-do-they-hate-us?' characterization of men in the region which has come to shape media coverage and policy making in many quarters," Shereen El Feki, a writer on sexuality in the Arab region and co-principal investigator of the report, tells CNN.
by gender equality organization Promundo
and UN Women
claims to be the most extensive comparative study of men related to gender equality ever undertaken in the region.
El Feki, author of the 2013 book "Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World
", says without involving men in discussions, society is unable to close the region's gender gap.
She co-lead the research of the report with Gary Barker, CEO of Promundo
"We are only going to get so far in trying to level the playing field and promote women's rights, if we don't bring men along with us."
Men are under enormous pressure to succeed financially despite the region's economic challenges, the study found.
In all four countries, around half of men said they were stressed or ashamed to face their families because they didn't have enough work, or they were fearful for the safety of themselves and their families.
"In the Arab region ... men are seen as financial providers and supporters -- this is how they define themselves," El Feki says. "If men define themselves within that (economic) context and you take that self-identity away from them it becomes very difficult for them to find another role."
While half of men surveyed held favorable views of married women working outside their homes, their acceptance was conditional: the man still wanted to be the breadwinner.
In Egypt, 74% of men supported equal salaries for men and women and 86% were willing to work with female colleagues, yet only 55% were willing to work for a female boss.
During the current climate of conflict, displacement, unemployment and political uncertainty, the report found men had begun to feel emasculated and "uncertain about or unwilling to accept change that might ease their heavy burden of societal imposed patriarchal duty."
"This is a really anxious and stressed group of individuals," El Feki says.
While men held this somewhat favorable view of women working outside their homes, Egypt's female labor-force participation is only at 20% which is among the lowest in the world.
Public vs private lives
On the whole, a sizable minority supported gender equality, but were also uncertain what that would mean for their private lives.
"What (the report is) pointing to is something really interesting which is this gap between public and private life. The public in some cases is further ahead and the private is lagging behind," El Feki says.
In most cases, women became more powerful in the public sphere due to circumstances of their husband's imprisonment or their family's displacement -- particularly among Syrian refugees and Palestinians due to having to simultaneously manage household duties and earn an income.
Several men who had been imprisoned said they had a greater respect and appreciation for women after learning of the responsibilities their wives took on.
El Feki explained that while women's attitudes were more progressive than that of men when it came to economics and engagement in public life, regarding private matters women were just as conservative.
For example, three quarters of men may have said that a woman's most important role was to care for their household, but half of women held these same views.
Consistently throughout the report both gender