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Women strongly present in Lebanese demonstrations despite male intimidation


In its issue of today, L’Orient Le Jour highlighted the role of women in the ongoing popular uprising which broke up on October 17, including the systematic masculine opposition to their move. Women who were in the front lines of the demonstrations, the newspaper wrote, were not discouraged by the intimidation campaigns criticizing their participation, especially those launched by supporters of the political regime in the streets and on social media platforms, as activists said. L’Orient Le Jour reminded its readers of the strong female presence in the human and women’s rights campaigns led by women from civil society organizations, and it also lauded their influence which was evident in the current protests, on the level of decision-making or in logistic coordination. Most of the banners and slogans hoisted by demonstrators were reportedly designed by women, the newspaper cited activists as saying. Likewise, activist and actress Nada Abu Farhat, explained that the motto of the revolts, ‘Revolution against fear’, is not directed to the macho mindset only, but is also intended to inspire women to break free of fear and boldly stand up for their rights. For her part, activist Rein Ahmad, stressed that female activists joining the demos tried hard to keep in check the aggressive language and terminology used by some demonstrators and replace them by signs advocating basic rights which they also share and defend. Ahmad clarified that some parties charged them responsible for those slogans only to bully them. For her part, activist Halima Qaqour, said the participation of women in the uprising has alarmed the backers of the ruling class who resorted to all forms of physical, mental and sexual violence to blemish their image. She mentioned especially the harmful and abusive comments on social media, and warned that all such campaigns will not stop or weaken their determination to claim their natural rights. (L’Orient Le Jour, November 6, 2019)

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