The NGO ABAAD and the UN Democracy Fund initiated a poll to understand behaviors of voters and candidates for the 2022 parliamentary elections regarding women’s political participation.
According to the conducted survey, around 84% of voters in Lebanon stated that the gender of the candidate does not affect their electoral choices, whereas 54% said they had never voted for a woman.
The study highlighted that the choices of voters and candidates in Lebanon and their attitudes towards women’s political participation can affect the results, as 90% of the male candidates considered that the candidate’s gender affects voters’ choices.
As reported by the National News Agency (NNA), ABAAD’s founder and director Ghida Anani said that “the upcoming parliamentary elections are a central station in Lebanon to develop plans and programs that will contribute to the reconstruction of a just system in the country.”
She highlighted that the presence of women in the legislature is “therefore, a fundamental right and an urgent necessity.”
“Women’s participation in politics reflects an integrated vision of the concept of citizenship that we need in Lebanon,” she said, stressing “the importance of electing women according to the criterion of competence and giving them preferential votes.”
She revealed that 89% of voters said that they were likely to vote for a female candidate in the next election, while 87% in the Mount Lebanon III district said they supported the women’s quota.
“There is no doubt that the presence of able women within the legislature will undoubtedly contribute to legislation that is equal and free from discrimination against women, girls, and the most marginalized groups,” said Anani
The survey also brought up the issues of chapter 7 of the Lebanese penal code in regard to sexual assault offenses. 96% of voters confirmed the need to amend chapter 7 to increase penalties. 92% of the surveyed candidates pledged to work on these issues if elected.
The NGO confirmed that the number of women candidates on the electoral rolls is an increase of 37% from the 2018 parliamentary elections when there were only 86 women candidates.