Behar Ali is a woman with a mission. As a young woman, she lived through the infamous poison gas attack on Halabja in the late eighties in Iraq. When Saddam Hussein started another campaign of violence against the Kurds in the mid-nineties, Behar fled to the Netherlands where she specialised in women's rights. After the fall of Saddam, she returned to northern Iraq to help rebuild her country.
Hivos believes that all women and girls should have control over their lives and be able to actively participate in social, political and economic spheres, so we work tirelessly with various human rights instruments in support of communities’ and countries’ efforts towards gender equality.
Overcoming poor representation and gender stereotypes
Hivos WE4L Lebanon Partner Maharat Foundation’s report following its gendered-based election media monitoring in the May 2016 Lebanese municipal elections shows how women political opinion-makers and leaders continue to be weakly represented in the Lebanese audio-visual media.
On 26 January 2017, Lebanese LGBT activists celebrated a significant victory. For the fourth time in the past eight years, a Lebanese judge ruled that homosexuality was not illegal, applying a liberal interpretation of the Lebanese penal code. The abolition of the legal article in question, no. 534, which criminalizes sexual acts contradictory to the ‘laws of nature’, has long been the aim of Hivos’ partner Helem, a local LGBT rights grassroots organization.