There is not only one Lebanese woman but many different women. Religion, district, social condition, origins…These are characteristics that distinguish women in the land of the cedars. Many claims that Lebanese women have the most freedom among the rest of the Arab world. I had an interview with one of the founding members of the Kafa, (which means “enough” in Arabic). This organization works in preventing violence toward women in Lebanon. If no official report lists this violence on a national level, it’s because many are in a private context and few talks about it.
She mentions that in 2016 2500 women came to Kafa to report an incident. Every year, 8 or 11 murders are presented in the media. But other than that, no other numbers are reported.
The association takes care of any woman on the Lebanese territory. The problem here is social and economic that different regions know. The young founder mentions that Kafa doesn’t have enough resources to open centers in isolated regions, but they always send representatives in schools.
They also try to warn security in these regions to prevent and handle such situations but this is not enough. A Lebanese woman cannot transmit her nationality to her children, even though they were born and raised in the country since their birth. I would feel like a citizen of a second category. It is horrible and shameful. My aunt married an Egyptian man. They have three children and live in the heart of the city. She told me that her kids sometimes ask her why they don’t have Lebanese nationality and she doesn’t know what to say.
Especially after having raised them with all the love of the city, the homeland, and the traditions.
Here is why this law is effective: the national code goes back to 1925 when Lebanese politicians decided that the citizen should be the man and that the woman follows as a mother, wife, sister, and these useless categories. So, a Lebanese man can easily give the nationality to his children. Another racist practice is how Muslim Palestinians who ran away from war were not given nationality contrary to Armenians. This is because Palestinians were seen as “dangerous” and illiterate whereas Armenians were “educated”, and they could give a lot to the economy because they were known as jewelers. The majority of Palestinians are exploited and are still today fulfilling underpaid jobs. The last one reminded me of Durazo’s text Medical Violence Against People of Color and the Medicalization of Domestic Violence especially the law enforcement people of color would endure.
Puerto Rican women were given birth pills three to four times the hormone dosages of today’s birth control pills were tested on women without their consent. This shows how foreigners are mistreated when they come into the country as if they should be paying the price of arriving in a country that welcomes them. In contrast to other Arab countries, Lebanon is seeing some positive changes. Women start to run for presidency or any other political aspect in the country which is great. For a long time, the political figures would be men and even voters were constituted mostly of men. Today this is changing. The country is also more open towards sexuality a subject that has been taboo. A new law found its place in the government against domestic violence in 2014.