Standing Up For A Lebanese Woman Scorned…

We, Lebanese, pride ourselves on how our country is very advanced compared to our neighbors in the region. We brag about how open our people is, how receptive we are of different cultures, how mixed we are internally, how our country is the envy of many, etc…

We also brag about how, compared to other countries in the region, we allow our women to drive (some think it’s a big mistake as well), we allow them to vote, to go wherever they want, etc…

Horrible driving aside, did you know that the requirements for women voting are different from those of men in Lebanon? For a man to vote, he needs to be over 21 and with full rights. For a woman to vote, she needs to have those as well, in addition to finishing up elementary school. Sure, that doesn’t seem like a hurdle in today’s Lebanon where everyone is basically literate (I have no idea about the statistics) but what matters is the thought…

Starting with the basic right we pride our women have, we differentiate against them. Sure, we may have the most gorgeous women on the planet, and the smartest, etc… but what good does that make if our civil rights limit them?

Lebanese women can’t pass on their citizenship to their offspring if they marry a non-Lebanese man. How sick is that? what makes my blood more valuable than theirs? what makes my citizenship more distinguished than theirs?

Why is it that when a Lebanese woman is killed for a crime of honor, the murderer receives a softer sentence than when the same act happens to anyone else?

Why is it that domestic abuse against Lebanese women does not even have a legislation to control or punish it?

Why is it that even in the matters of the family, the ones we believe women are the most important in, they are considered as lesser than men?

There are so many “why”s that can be asked about the state Lebanese women live in today… so on March 8th, International Women’s Day, let us speak up for the grave injustice going on in our country. Let us say that we, as Lebanese men, refuse the upper hand our law gives us because we want our other in the country to be an equivalent other and not a lesser other.

It is the time to speak now…

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