With the end of the elections that took place on Sunday, May 15th, across Lebanon, the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE) issued a preliminary report regarding the violations committed during the process.
Out of tens of breaches, the organization found 19 cases of violation and intimidation exercised by several political parties toward women.
The most obvious violations towards women are the following:
7 cases of abuse of women by security forces (recording cases of harassment, pressure, verbal and physical violence, threats).
6 cases of maltreating women by electoral machine staff (recording cases of harassment, pressure, verbal and physical violence, threats).
6 cases of maltreating women by polling station bodies (recording cases of harassment, pressure, verbal and physical violence, threats).
While there were generally many clashes in or around polling stations during the elections, these incidents of misbehavior toward women are appalling in that it is related to their gender.
Such a lack of respect stems from the assumption by some that women are inferior to them or not worth minimum civility. It is even worse coming from those taking advantage of women’s presence in public spaces or crowds to sexually harass them or touch them.
These women, who duly went to perform their civic duty by voting, did not find a safe space as it was ought to them. Another disgrace to add to the long list of issues witnessed during the elections, and to the list of social issues that the new parliament is now called to effectively tackle.