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UN gender assessment: Lebanon's constitution is among the worst

13-12-2018

A gender justice and law assessment study prepared by ESCWA, UNFPA and UNWomen (c.f: https://bit.ly/2SHQUYz), has shown that the majority of Arab states put restrictions on the freedom of women, noting that the 18 countries covered by the report are: Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and Morocco. On the special chapter on Lebanon, the study presented a bleak summary of the status of women in the Lebanese legislations, placing the Lebanese constitution among the worst in terms of not ensuring gender equality or the minimum protection against gender-based violence. The report also pointed to the deprivation of Lebanese women from their right to confer nationality to their children and non-Lebanese spouses, adding that Lebanese laws are still incomplete vis-à-vis domestic violence, specially that marital rape is not considered a felony. The report however praised a positive element which criminalizes rape outside marriage. Regarding personal status laws, the assessment study indicated an absence of a law that prohibits early marriage, pointing to a difference in the minimum age of marriage according to the different religious sects but which is detrimental to girls. In Lebanon, the study sustained, all religions sanction the marriage of girls under 18, noting that women do not enjoy equal rights in marriage and divorce like their male partners by virtue of these laws. As for the labor law, the assessment report highlighted Article 26 which disallows discrimination against women in wages. (An Nahar, December 13, 2018)

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