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Linda Matar a relentless activist for women’s rights


The League of Lebanese Women’s Rights (LLWR) in Beqaa honored last Saturday its former ‎president Linda Matar in a ceremony which was concluded with the signing of her latest book ‎‎‘Landmarks of My Life’. In the early nineteen fifties of the last century, the struggle of Linda ‎Matar (born in 1925) began with the signing of a petition calling for the right of women to vote ‎and run for parliamentary elections following a visit by LLWR activists. After that, her journey ‎as an activist started.  Matar completed her high school with much difficulty for she was forced ‎to work at a stocking and later at a silk factory at the age of 12 years to provide for her needy ‎family.  At the same time, she was following up her studies at a night school. Contrary to what ‎people think, her early marriage at 17 did not constitute a problem. Her husband “thinks ‎different” she said. Matar advanced from an ordinary member of the LLWR to a branch officer ‎then an officer and secretary before she became the full-fledged president of the League in 1978 ‎and was re-elected in 1981. Some of her many achievements, are: participation in the ‎establishment of a number of women associations; membership in the World Democratic ‎Women’s Union; participation as a researcher and expert in numerous preparatory meetings of the ‎Beijing World Woman Conference; selection in 1995 by the French Marie Claire magazine as one ‎of the top 100 influential women of the world. Matar also unsuccessful participated ‎in Parliamentary elections in 1996 and 2000, notwithstanding her prior anticipation of the results. ‎At the time, Matar knew very well that she cannot keep up with the political powers and does ‎not regret the experience. When asked what is the one thing women mostly need to ‎emphasis she replied, “to acknowledge their intellect” adding that she will never give in to ‎challenges no matter how long it takes. (As Safir, 8 August 2015)‎


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