After the Arab Spring, women’s rights movements in Jordan and in Tunisia are mobilized to reform public policies. While the democratization in Tunisia started with the fall of the authoritarian regime, the political reform in Jordan was initiated from the top. We used inductive reasoning and qualitative research methods to study the role of the movements in reforming gender discriminatory policies. In both countries, broader women’s rights narratives differ from women’s rights narratives for gender equality. Despite the differences in the political context, the movements for gender equality in both countries have encountered similar challenges. Islam as a socio-political ideology opposes gender equality at the legislative and implementation levels. Without secularization, gender equality in all sectors cannot be achieved. WRMs in Tunisia have made progress due to the radical transition led by a secular party. State feminism and co-optation of female leadership have meanwhile hindered WRMs in Jordan in amending the nationality law. While state feminism in Tunisia has supported the movement in the efforts for equal inheritance law, this support has been perceived as selective feminism, which prevents the movement from receiving a wider social support for their cause. Intersectional feminism is a potential tool for the Tunisian movement to combat selective feminism, while the movement in Jordan has been hindered by limitations on mass mobilization imposed by the repressive regime. The general frame can be applied for further studies in other Arab Muslim countries.