News and Views

Browse by Country

Browse by Region

You are here

Home » Lebanon

News and Views: Lebanon

Lebanon: Islamic Clerics Oppose Law Protecting Abused Women

July 25, 2013

Two weeks ago, Lebanese women were compelled to recognize once again that they are left to be victims of violence in many forms — including murder — without any legislation protecting them or holding the aggressor accountable. The reason for that is the position of some clerics, who justify these views using religious convictions and concepts.

Lebanon: Media coverage of child sexual abuse is on the rise

September 30, 2012

Stories about child sexual abuse, and to a lesser degree sexual harassment of women in workplace, are finding their ways more and more into the Lebanese media.

The shocking story last June of the school teacher who was accused of sexually harassing 11 female students - aged between six and eight - in one of the most prestigious Catholic schools in Mount Lebanon, could have been the main driver behind the widening coverage on this subject.

In Lebanon, like in most Middle Eastern societies, sexual harassment is a taboo. 

Jordan & Lebanon: Citizenship rights for children

July 27, 2012

In Jordan and Lebanon, women married to foreigners are taking to the streets to fight for their children's citizenship rights.

In both countries, women who marry non-nationals are unable to confer nationality on their child or spouse, rendering their families foreigners in the eyes of the law, and denying them rights and access to key public services. In contrast, men from those countries who marry foreigners face no such obstacles.

Lebanon: Activists slam government inaction over women’s rights

July 17, 2012

Women’s rights campaigners voiced Monday their frustration over the government’s inaction over key issues, namely equal citizenship rights and protection from domestic violence. At a news conference held jointly by the “My Nationality is a Right for Me and My Family” and the “National Alliance for Legalizing the Protection of Women from Family Violence” campaigns, organizers spoke of what they called the systematic neglect of citizens’ rights.

Lebanon: The sectarianization of politics and genderalizing the Arab uprisings. An interview with Maya Mikdashi

June 21, 2012

The following interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Maya Mikdashi was conducted by Eugenio Dacrema for the Istituto per gli studi di Politica Internazionale (ISPI), on whose website it was originally published on 21 June 2012. In the interview, Maya discusses developments in Lebanon as they related to the uprising in Syria. She also discusses Lebanese politics more generally as well the workings of gender politics in the Middle East.

Lebanon: Activists use street theatre to build support for domestic violence bill

July 12, 2012

The story ended as many do. The debate between Junaid and his wife Lamia became heated and he slapped her, causing her to fall to the ground. Twenty other women like Lamia fell to the ground in Nejme Square in front of the Lebanese parliament building in Beirut in protest of domestic violence against women in Lebanon.

Lebanon: What the World Does Not Know about Us

June 20, 2012

In 2010, the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism made a series of ads to encourage people to come to Lebanon as tourists. One of these ads shows a man remembering his time in Lebanon with flashbacks of girls wearing bikinis, dancing and enjoying summer, the beach, and the partying. I did not start by telling you this small story at random— I am telling it to make a point.

Lebanon: Boys do cry

June 21, 2012

“Feeling stressed, agitated, over the edge?” These are the slogans you read on billboards across the country. These expressions aren’t new to Lebanon’s urban dictionary – however it may be the first time they are being used constructively. The banners depict men mostly from the working class in aggravating circumstances. One billboard shows a taxi driver, raising his arm in disdain at the traffic (or so it seems), the slogan heading the picture reads: “feeling like you’ve reached the end of your line? Don’t vent out your anger on others, or your family. Call us, we are ready to listen.”

Arab states: Plan to Increase Judges' Education on Women's Rights

June 24, 2012

Plans are underway to educate more Bahraini and Arab judges on women's social and humanitarian rights.

Arab Women Organisation (AWO) director-general Dr Wadooda Badran said efforts were being made to bridge the gap between realising women's rights and enforcing them in the Arab world.

They include amending legislation, conducting awareness campaigns, sponsoring studies, speaking to young students and possibly setting up a women's studies research centre in the region.

Lebanon: A culture of blame

June 18, 2012

Just over a week ago, female Al-Jadeed reporter Ghadi Francis was brutally beaten outside a hotel in Dhour Choueir, where an event for the Syrian Social Nationalist Party elections was being held. A day prior to the attack, she reportedly posed a question in a news report that sent a wave of intense criticism in her direction from the SSNP leadership.

Lebanon: Activists can't use "rape" in billboards

February 8, 2012

You’ll soon seen billboards across Lebanon in support of a demonstration on February 18 to raise awareness about a draft law on domestic violence against women.

But get this: the billboards have already been censored.

Activists originally submitted the image (pictured above) to General Security for approval (all billboards are subject to censorship by the government body). But officials came back and rejected the use of the word “rape” in the graphic.

Violence Against Women in Lebanon: A Debate That’s Not Going Away

January 13, 2012

On the surface, it would seem that passing a law that criminalizes violence perpetrated against women by family members would be straightforward in a diverse, and seemingly progressive country such as Lebanon. But the country’s diversity is one of the main hindrances to bringing it in line with international norms regarding women’s rights.

Lebanon: Hundreds of women and men march against rape

January 16, 2012

BEIRUT: Women and men from across Lebanon marched together over the weekend to call for changing the law governing rape crimes and support for victims of such acts.

The march, which began at noon in the Beirut district of Sanayeh, and ended in Parliament Square, drew over 600 people Saturday. Marchers held signs reading, “It is time to hear the screams of all the mothers and daughters the law has silenced,” “Change the laws against marital rape,” and “Skirt length is not an invitation.”

Lebanon: Draft Nationality Law Further Discriminates Against Women

December 14, 2011

A press communiqué by the Arab Women’s Right to Nationality Campaign discusses the key concerns for women in the draft nationality law issued by the Lebanese Cabinet.

Busting the Myths about Marital Rape

November 24, 2011

A lot of arguments have surfaced against the criminalization of marital rape, against considering forced sex between spouses rape, and against its inclusion in the law to protect family violence currently being deliberated in parliament. Nasawiya presented some of these arguments and their rebuttals in order to dispel the myths that continue to plague women’s sexual rights and bodily integrity – whether in law, public perception, or in her power of negotiation in intimate relationships.

Lebanon: Engaging Men in Ending Violence Against Women

October 11, 2011

“Ending violence against women and having a society that truly espouses the principles of gender equality can only be done when men and women work together, side by side, as partners in achieving that goal.”

Australia: Court Action Against Forced Marriage of Girl

September 30, 2011

An Australian court has placed a 16-year-old girl on the airport watch list to prevent an arranged marriage taking place in Lebanon.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, applied to the Federal Magistrates Court for an order to restrain her parents from taking her out of Australia to marry a man she had met only once.

The girl, given the pseudonym Ms Madley by the court, approached the Legal Aid Commission after her parents organised the wedding despite her telling them that she did not want to go to Lebanon and did not want to marry the man.

Lebanon - Penal Code Progess on Honor Killings + Femicide Study

August 9, 2011

After decades of advocacy by the Lebanese women’s movement to abolish the provision of the so-called “honor killing” from the Lebanese law, the Lebanese Parliament voted, on the 4th of August 2011, for the removal of Article 562 from it penal code. Article 562 allowed for a person to benefit from mitigating excuses in the event that this person surprises his/her spouse, sister, or any relative in the act of adultery or unlawful copulation and proceeds to kill or injure one or both of the  participants without prior intent.

Lebanon: Hotchpotch of religious laws restricts basic rights

July 19, 2011

The demand for equal religious, gender and other treatment for all Lebanese citizens has gained pace with some saying the time has come to review laws that confer inequality, especially on women.

“As a women, I am not equal to my brother, husband or male friend," Rita Chemaly, a researcher and women’s activist in the capital Beirut, said. "My state doesn’t guarantee my rights. The constitution says that all Lebanese are equal, yet the laws do not [guarantee this]."

Lebanon: Clerics attack domestic violence law

June 26, 2011

New legislation intended to combat domestic violence in Lebanon has run into opposition by the country's religious establishment.

Dar Al-Fatwa, the country's highest Sunni religious authority, claimed that the new law contradicted Islamic law (Shariah) and would deprive Muslim women of the ability to turn to religious courts for protection. It warned the legislators against "religious innovations" such as the concept of rape within the marital framework.

Lebanon: Protesters Take Aim at Family Law System

March 24, 2011


In the third and latest major demonstration in Lebanon, protesters of the sectarian or "confessional" system took special aim at religious family laws that prevent civil marriages and discriminate against women in various ways.

BEIRUT, Lebanon (WOMENSENEWS)--The demonstrations held here on March 20 marked the third time in four weeks that protesters gathered to demand an end to the "confessional" or sectarian system that divides Lebanon's government and society along religious lines.

One Day One Struggle: International Campaign to Promote Sexual and Bodily Rights across Muslim Societies

November 9, 2010

On November 9, 2010, the 2nd international “One Day One Struggle” Campaign to promote sexual and bodily rights in Muslim societies will take place in 12 countries across Middle East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia.

Lebanon: Lebanese women not satisfied with second class

June 15, 2010

Beirut - On 18 May, Samira Souedian, the Lebanese widow of an Egyptian, was refused the right to pass Lebanese citizenship to her four children by the Lebanese Court of Appeal, despite previously winning her case in a district court in June 2009.

Women protesters took to the streets in support of Samira’s cause. Standing with multi-coloured posters in their hands, they gave interviews to the media, hoping to be heard by the country’s politicians.

Lebanon: The adventures of Salwa: a comic to combat sexual harrasment in Lebanon

June 15, 2010


Salwa
is the image of the first campaign against sexual harassment in Lebanon. The League of Independent ActivistsIndyACT has launched this campaign with the aim of combating  ‘all forms of sexual harassment, physical and verbal abuse against children, girls, and women’. This is in particular a response to a drastic increase in such incidence in universities, schools, streets, workplaces and on public transport.

Discriminatory laws in Lebanon: rape, honour crimes

March 7, 2008

Lebanese women may be known as the Arab world's most liberal but they are by no means the region's most liberated considering antiquated laws that reduce them to second-class citizens.