The question of women’s political participation in Lebanon could not be more timely. As of 17 October 2019, nation-wide protests have erupted in response to increasing austerity measures that culminated in a tax on Voice over IP (VoIP) calls, commonly referred to as the “WhatsApp tax.” Calls for a non-sectarian and “non-political” revolution have drawn Lebanese representing nearly every sect, every class, and every gender out into the streets, which led to the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri on October 29, 2019.
The 2018 parliamentary elections in Lebanon witnessed the largest participation of women in the country’s history with 86 out 113 female candidates making it on the final electoral lists (Baturni and Halinan 2018, 1-3). Yet, out of the 128 elected candidates, only 6 were women (The Daily Star 2018). More recently, since the October 2019 protests, women have been at the forefront of mobilisations, organising sit-ins, marches, demonstrations, and chanting feminist slogans.
This policy brief explores how—despite widespread citizen frustration—the status quo prevailed. The brief will subject the above paradoxes to greater empirical scrutiny, with particular attention to the performance of new actors. It draws findings from an analysis of election results, participant observation of the campaign period, and focus group interviews conducted before and after the election.
This policy brief was developed based on an in-depth report titled “Women’s Political Participation: Exclusion and Reproduction of Social Roles. Case Studies from Lebanon;” in addition to discussions and insights gathered during a consultation workshop held on 8 November 2018, and which marked the participation of women who had taken part of the research, as well as activists, representatives of civil society organisations, and academics.
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.
تهدف هذه الورقة البحثية إلى تسليط الضوء على عوامل مختلفة تطبع القصة العائلية والمسار الإجتماعي لإمرأة فلسطينية تعيش في مخيم للاجئين في لبنان. وتجدر الإشارة في هذا السياق إلى أن مكوِّنَيْن من الهوية يضطلعان بدور اساسي في بلورة مسألتنا، وهما الهوية الجندرية، والهوية الوطنية. فواقع أن نور تجمع بين كونها امرأة وفلسطينية يجعلها تواجه أشكالا عديدة من العنف، وذلك بسبب الديناميات و/أو حالات التوتر القائمة بين الرجال والنساء من جهة، والفلسطينيين واللبنانيين من جهة أخرى.