Lebanon’s Feminist Civil Society Platform held a press conference on Monday to share their demands regarding the candidates running for the upcoming parliamentary elections, and ensure equality for women in political parties.
The platform urged the candidates to commit to “achieving full equality between women and men, include that in their priorities as future parliamentarians and work seriously to ensure full participation of women in decision-making levels.”
Lebanon’s Feminist Civil Society Platform asked the candidates to take gender-based actions in their electoral plans and as future parliament bodies. Their 10 demands are as follows:
- Commit to no sexism and misogyny in their speeches and electoral campaigns.
- Ensure that a gender persepctive should be included in the future legislation.
- Ensure an effective representation for women in political leadership and public life, including: the adoption of a law protecting them from political violence, and the enactment of measures such as quotas to accelerate their equal representation in elected bodies.
- Ensure the recovery efforts and address issues of gender equality and women’s rights.
- Support key legislative reforms critical for preventing and responding to gender-based and women’s rights inluding to: enact laws to combat child marriages, amend the Penal Code to ensure marital rape is criminalized, and repeal Penal codes used to criminalize same-sex relations and transgender women.
- Adopt a unified civil personal status code for all women and men in Lebanon.
- Amend the nationality law to ensure Lebanese women have the same rights as men to pass their nationality to their children.
- Revise labor, social security, and taxation laws to address gender discrimination: to increase paid maternity leave to a minimum of 14 weeks; repeal the law prohibiting women from certain occupations; amend the social protection law to insurance coverage for a non-employed wives with working husbands, who are over 60 or disabled.
- Enact a law to regulate the employment of domestic workers and dismantle the kafala system.
- Amend law 164 to align with the UN protocol on anti-trafficking in order to maximize efforts towards the protection of survivors.
Lebanon’s Feminist Civil Society Platform is formed of activists who were convened by UN Women in the aftermath of the Beirut Blast of August 4th and issued a unified charter of demands to put women’s issues at the center of the disaster plan.
Lebanese women have been long suffering from the infringement of their basic human rights in many aspects, including in the working sector with unequal wages, gender discrimination in laws and courts, their safety and human dignity with the lack of actions against exposed sexual predators, a blatant disregard to their value in governance, and constant sexism and misogyny, to name a few.
Even though Lebanese women constitute over 50% of Lebanon’s population, the state and political officials continue to disregard them in their rights.