Starting this year, every 4th of November will be recognized as “Lebanese Women’s Day” in Lebanon! The Minister of State for Women’s Affairs Jean Ogasapian said he chose November 4 because, on that day, a decree was signed by the government giving women the right to vote for the first time. Ogasapian is Lebanon’s first minister for women. He is currently working on a new electoral law to include a gender quota. It would require female representatives take up at least 30 percent of parliamentary seats. He told the Daily Star that “men should think about the obstacles they have [laid down] on the path of women that prevented them from reaching high places in society,” he said. Ogasapian continues:“Women are an added value and their presence would lead to better productivity in Parliament.” The first celebration of this national celebration will take place in Beirut and other major cities. It will feature events and activities across the country that are currently being organized. Moreover, Ogasapian said that the aim of this event is to show what Lebanese women did for the country. Highlighting their past achievements will promote the potential that Lebanese women have. Thus, promoting the further contribution of women in the society.
Lebanese women and the legislation
Lebanese women actively participate in all aspects of society. However, the Human Rights Watch annual report for 2016 found that women are still being discriminated against in the Lebanese legislation, including in personal status laws, nationality laws and the criminal code. In fact, Lebanon’s current 30-member Cabinet only has one woman – Minister of State for Administrative Development Inaya Ezzeddine.