As March 8th marks International Woman’s Day, with countless Lebanese activists protesting on Sunday for women’s rights, it’s a good time as any to think about the role of women in Lebanon’s political life. U.N Special Coordinator Jan Kubis made a statement today to the Lebanese government to involve women more in political life.
In the statement, Kubis said, “Lebanon is encouraged to take measures to ensure women are more involved and allowed to actively take part in the realization of change, and in shaping the image of their country’s future through greater inclusion and participation in decision-making processes.”
He then added, “This year, the commemoration of International Women’s Day takes place at a pivotal moment in Lebanon’s history. Having historically stood at the forefront of rights movements, Lebanon’s women have, once again, proven to be a catalyst for social progress by taking the lead in calls for change and reform.“
He spoke about women’s involvement in the revolution and how it helped shape the non-violent nature of the uprising.
He then added that women’s contributions to society on the “social, economic, political, legal, academic, and all other spheres in Lebanon” can only see their full potential with the eradication of the barriers standing in the way of women reaching leadership positions.
He then commented on the inclusion of 6 women in Lebanon’s new 20 member government, saying that although the 30% women rate and the adoption of the 1325 National Action Plan are positive steps for women in Lebanon, there is still a long way to go.
“Women in Lebanon continue to face many forms of discrimination, while inequality in different fields is still predominant, gender-based violence is not adequately combatted, and their concerns, rights, and interests are only rarely prioritized,” he said.
He emphasized that fighting for the equal representation of women in Lebanon is an important factor in the peace and prosperity of Lebanon. He also added that the UN will support through its different agencies, programs, and funds the mission to empower women in Lebanon.