لبنان سجل 28,764 ألف إصابة بمرض السرطان خلال السنوات الخمس الأخيرة

Lebanon… Official move after the “scandal” of cancer treatment drugs

The heat of the presidential battle in Lebanon intensifies, as history advances in the country towards October 31, 2022, the date of the end of the term of the current President of the Lebanese Republic, Michel Aoun, while uncertainty surrounds the identity of the person most likely to reach the presidency, in light of the sharp political division that controls the country.

In the midst of the competition and political wrangling associated with the presidential battle, opinion polls and popular and electronic referendums on the names preferred by the Lebanese are emerging, with the aim of conveying the mood of public opinion regarding the identity of the next president, who is supposed to be elected through the Lebanese Parliament, according to the constitution.

However, what was striking in those polls was the emergence of the female component as a fierce competitor, occupying the first ranks among the names chosen by the participants to take over the presidency, as some of the female names have surpassed traditional leaders, candidates who enjoy high popularity in Lebanon, which reflects a popular mood that tends towards granting women Lebanese opportunity to assume the presidency in the country.

The involvement of women in Lebanon in political life is increasing, especially after the 2019-2020 protests, which were called the “October 17 Revolution,” where women played a pivotal role in leading popular movements, and took the lead in the media and demand landscape expressing the popular movement at the time.

This was followed by a growing presence of women in the new political parties that emerged from the movement, and then in the parliamentary battle that Lebanon witnessed last May, where it recorded the highest number of women candidates in the history of the parliamentary elections in Lebanon.

However, this momentum did not translate into correct gender representation in the Lebanese parliament. Although 115 women ran for parliamentary elections, only eight women succeeded in reaching the new parliament, representing only about 6.4 percent of the total parliamentary seats, due to obstacles Cultural, social and political, it may also affect the chances of Lebanese women to reach the presidency.

“We want a man…”

The head of the “Fifty Fifty” organization, Joel Abu Farhat, stops at the speeches of political leaders in recent times, in which they list their specifications required for the next president of the republic.

In her interview with Al-Hurra, she pointed out that all the letters say, “We want a suitable man…”, as this phrase was repeated by more than one person, and this is the first obstacle that stands out in the face of Lebanese women, which is the mentality of choice.

Abu Farhat adds that “the supposed specifications should be reflected in the characteristics and not in the gender. For us, for example, we want someone who has the courage, and the women have this courage. We want a president from outside the lineups of the power parties, and here there are many qualified women from outside the system, who have plans. The rescue and the ability to work on it, in addition to the know-how and knowledge of what is going on globally and in the region around us, and this part is also available, and therefore there is no element that prevents the access of women.”

The head of the organization, which seeks to achieve equality in political life between women and men, pointed out that “the country currently needs someone who knows and understands people’s needs. Women are also able to focus their work on the needs of the individual and proceed from it to the public, unlike men who always take the public image, and this is a point Very important in the current situation in which we live, as today the Lebanese politicians are in one place, and the people are in another.”

“If we look today at the political scene, we will say: It is certainly difficult for a woman to reach the presidency of the republic,” according to Abu Farhat, “but if the parliamentary blocs make a small effort to choose a person from outside the system to advance a plan that saves Lebanon, there will be great chances. For Lebanese women, because there are many female faces suitable to play this role and carry this project.”

jurists confirmed that Lebanese women have enough experience to take over the presidency

traditional obstacles

Media and political activist, Ghada Eid, who was a candidate in the parliamentary elections, and whose name was mentioned among the first ten names chosen by the participants in the opinion polls, says in her interview with Al-Hurra website that she was surprised by the referendum that bore her name, “because no one asked me about it. Suddenly I found My name is valid, I think they put the names of all the candidates from the Maronite community, and my name was qualified among the first ten names, according to the choices of the participants.

A sectarian quota system prevails in Lebanon for positions and centers of power in the country, where only Maronite Christians have the opportunity to run for the presidency, while the presidency of the Council of Ministers belongs to Sunni Muslims, and the presidency of the House of Representatives belongs to the share of Shiite Muslims, as any nomination from outside the sectarian quota is considered one of those centers. An “unconventional” move.

Eid believes that if the last parliamentary elections had resulted in a major change, “certainly, women’s chances of access would have been much greater, in contrast to the current situation, because those who govern and control the country today are the traditional system that has ruled the country for decades, and they are men.”

And she adds, “The Lebanese woman is certainly capable of being the president of the republic, but unfortunately if she is not the wife of a leader or the daughter of a leader or a member of the political leader, she cannot reach the helm of responsibility, and therefore I do not see that a woman does not reach because she is a woman, as much as I see that she does not reach except from within the ruling system and with its approval.”

Eid gives, for example, the inclusion of the name of the Vice President of the Free Patriotic Movement and the former minister, Nada Al-Bustani, in the list of women’s names mentioned in the opinion poll. Instead, while men always enjoy consensus and vote in parliament, unlike women.”

A Woman in Half a Century.. Lebanon’s Elections Tell the History of “Women’s Marginalization”

The Lebanese are less than one month away from the closing date for candidacy for the parliamentary elections scheduled for next May, after half the deadline from January 10 to March 15 has passed. However, only three women have registered their candidacy so far nationwide.

constant marginalization

Eid refers to a historical problem in the ruling system’s view of women, “The men of power are unable to accept an idea on themselves, and we notice this view and the background of their behavior, in the Parliament, for example, when Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri says to a deputy: ‘You shut up’, this indicates A contempt for women, and this reflects the patriarchal and authoritarian society in which we still live, where women until today have not taken their full right to actual equality with men, there is still legal discrimination and unfair laws against women in Lebanon to this day.

The low rate of women’s participation in Lebanese political life represents a historical reality in the country. While Lebanese women were given the right to vote and to run for office at an early stage in the life of the Lebanese Republic, in 1953, one woman was able in 1960 to enter the parliament since Lebanon’s independence in 1943 until the end of the Lebanese civil war. In 1992, Mirna Al-Bustani, who arrived at the House of Representatives to succeed her father, Representative Emile Al-Bustani, after his death in 1963, and continued in the prosecution for only one year.

The marginalization of women is not limited to the small number of them in parliament, but also extends to the way most women reach the parliamentary dome at that stage, either by inheriting the man in the absence or young age of the male heir, as was the case with Mirna Al-Bustani, Nayla Moawad, Nihad Saeed and Solang Gemayel and Nayla Tueni, or through the political family, as is the case with Bahia Hariri and Strida Geagea.

The last parliamentary elections broke this historical stereotype, as four independent women and transformational forces succeeded in reaching the parliament. They are: Paula Yacoubian, Halima Kaakour, Najat Saliba and Cynthia Zarazir. On the other hand, the traditional parties also had four women: Inayat Ezzedine, Nada Al-Bustani, Strida Geagea and Ghada Ayoub.

Women in the Lebanese Parliament face a sharp masculine mentality in dealing with them, as they are exposed in many sessions to bullying, bullying and sexual innuendos, as well as mockery and belittling of what they present, and attempts to suppress and silence.

Pornographic magazines, condoms, and “smearing”… A Lebanese MP speaks to Al-Hurra about the scandals of Parliament

Lebanese MP Cynthia Zarazir caused an uproar on social media, after she revealed through a post on her Facebook page that she had been harassed under the dome of Parliament, and that she had discovered used condoms and “Playboy” magazines in the office to which she was handed over.

an inferior look

Lebanon ranks 18th among the Arab countries in terms of the number of women in parliament, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union figures, while it is among the few Arab countries that have not yet allocated a quota for women in their parliament and do not impose a women’s quota on candidate lists in the electoral law.

Because of this reality, the demand in the past years focused on allocating a fixed-number quota for women in the Lebanese Parliament. Several parties have submitted draft laws and proposals in this regard that differed from each other in the number of seats and the percentage of women’s representation (between 30 percent of the parliament and 20 percent of parliament). and 24 and 26 seats out of 128), in order to compensate for the historical absence of women from political representation.

In this context, Abu Farhat believes that this view of women working in public affairs will continue as long as there are few women in Lebanese political life. Today, women are still seen as a minority and the weakest link, and this does not reflect reality.”

From here, Abu Farhat finds it necessary to establish a quota for women, in which the largest possible number of women enter the House of Representatives, “which will reflect the representation of women in the Council of Ministers, and in the various appointed and elected councils, and then the chances of reaching the presidency will be much higher.”

And she points out that there is an “inferior view” of women in Lebanese political work, “so that the traditional system emanating from the traditional parties views them as incompetent, while it is not possible to reform the country’s situation with one component, which is males, while half of the society that it represents is absent from the scene. Women, how can a country advance without giving a chance to 50 percent of society, and without justice for this group in terms of legal, legal and practice?”

“The marginalization of women in Lebanese political life must be seen as a flaw and a mistake that must be fixed,” Abu Farhat added, “through the law imposed on everyone and not by changing the patriarchal social mentality, which may not change or require a long time, which cannot wait for it.” women for their rights.

Lebanese women have a movement

Lebanese women who led the “October 17” movement have recently emerged in politics

‘big mistake’

And whether the priority today is the arrival of women or the arrival of the program that the country needs, Eid believes that the goal today is not the arrival of any woman from a gender standpoint, but rather the arrival of the right person, “otherwise we have made a big mistake, especially if we believe in equality between men and women, Even if a man is from outside the system’s parties, agreements and standards, he will not have the chances of reaching the presidency.”

She adds that “the arrival of a woman from within the system and the traditional parties does not mean the arrival of the Lebanese woman, but rather the arrival of the traditional parties that represent them, whose work and results we have tested.”

Women in Lebanon also suffer from discrimination in Lebanese laws, as they are not able, for example, to pass on their Lebanese nationality to their children if they are married to a foreigner, unlike men who can legally do so.

Women in Lebanon are also subjected to a number of discriminatory laws and procedures against their rights in personal status laws and inheritance laws that deprive women of their families’ wealth and give the largest percentage of it to men, which contributes to limiting their financial capabilities in favor of men, and is reflected in their ability to engage in political life.

In turn, Abu Farhat stresses that “what is important today is the project, and the goal is not to connect women because they are women only, but certainly in Lebanon today there are many qualified women with their experience, projects and competence to reach the presidency, and they have all the specifications required for this role.”

She adds that everyone is required today “to think in an unconventional way, especially since the country’s situation no longer allows the prevailing mentality, and needs to involve more women’s expertise and competencies, especially since the experiences of women around the world have proven useful, as the first nine countries succeeded in confronting the Corona pandemic.” And solutions to its effects have created solutions, namely, the countries led by women, and today in Lebanon there is no legal or constitutional obstacle to women’s access, but rather a male mental impediment.”


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