Hivos Middle East & North Africa

Middle East & North Africa

Blog

Man to woman the evening of March 8: “Your day is over, time to go back to the kitchen”. *laughter*

It’s easy to assume that this type of sexist humour just comes out of typical male cafés in Lebanon.

But this joke was used by seasoned Lebanese television host Marcel Ghanem in a tweet to open his weekly political show ‘Kalam Ennas’ - one of the most-watched political talk shows on mainstream Lebanese  television - during the week of International Women’s Day (IWD) 2017!

Just one day at the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) showed me that this year’s theme, ‘Women’s Economic Empowerment in the changing world of work’, may finally bring some well-deserved attention to the feminization of migration and the plight of women in domestic work. But - will this attention actually result in measures to protect their rights? For those paying attention, Hivos’ panel discussion on 13 March, “I work without Rights, Do you care?” revealed some very necessary steps to take.

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.

Co-authored with Ferdinand Francken, LEAD programme Coordinator, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

“There is no abstract mass of Lebanese citizens; there are Lebanese male citizens and Lebanese female citizens.” - May Mikdashi, “A Legal Guide to being a Lebanese Woman

The 31st of October was not a particularly good day for Lebanese women. An overhead visual of the Lebanese parliament reminded us of the stark reality that we have only 4 women MPs, that’s 3 % of the total number of MPs, one of the lowest percentages in the world.