Around the world, gender-based violence (GBV) reflects and reinforces inequalities between men and women. It is entrenched by power relations and control, cultures of silence and denial, political and cultural apathy, and affects men and women throughout their lives.
Gender Equity Network
Lebanon does not have a civil code regulating personal status matters. Instead, there are 15 separate personal status laws for the country’s different recognized religious communities including twelve Christian, four Muslim, the Druze, and Jewish confessions, which are administered by separate religious courts. Religious authorities often promoted this judicial pluralism as being essential to protecting Lebanon’s religious diversity.
Although Lebanon is known in the Middle East for its relative political openness and for the degree of freedom Lebanese women enjoy, it paradoxically has one of the lowest rates of women’s political engagement in the region.
In a recent article published in the New Yorker, which was quite popular online, mixed marriages between citizens of two different countries are described as playing a part in developing compassion and understanding between people in the world: “The awareness and negotiation of small differences add up to a larger understanding about the complexities of the world.” Amidst growing globalisation, mixed marriages are indeed increasingly common and appreciated for their transnational multiculturalism.
Today, women in Lebanon are fighting for equal access to opportunities and rights without prejudice against their gender, their expectations and their careers. This fight requires attention for and analysis of the deep-rooted patriarchal structures that by their very nature exclude women. When Lebanese women decide to become politically active, they are faced with many challenges, from society’s expectations of them to gender stereotyping, and often limited access to the necessary resources to build a political career.