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Zoya Ruhana, Hayat Arsalan running for Shuf-Aley 2018 elections


In an inspiring move, the director of Kafa organization, activist Zoya Ruhana, announced on Saturday that she will be running independently for the Shuf -Aley constituency in the upcoming 2018 elections. After years of struggle for women’s rights, Ruhana said she found it necessary to participate in the Parliamentary elections to promote and present women’s issues through a feminist electoral agenda. Ruhana has set a 4-point program which proposes: a law combatting violence against women and girls; a compulsory civil law for personal status; an amended Nationality Law that restores women's basic right to pass citizenship to their family members, and an amended labor law that secures gender equality. For her part, the president of the Committee for Promoting Women’s Role in National Decision-Making, Princess Hayat Arslan, working since 2001 to improve women’s status, disclosed in mid-January her candidacy for a seat in the Shuf -Aley Constituency, saying she will be drafting a 13-candidate electoral list which she will chair. The list, Arslan told L’Orient Le Jour, has currently 5 women on its board. In a related vein, the newspaper pointed to the Women Do Politics project launched last April 2017 by Women in Front to encourage leading women to appear in the media through featured political talk shows. A co-founder of Women in Front, Joelle Rizkallah, pointed out that the NGO is getting so many calls from political parties wishing to nominate women on their electoral lists, while noting that the initiative is funded by the British Embassy. At a later stage, Rizkallah explained, women will be backed in the period between the candidacy and the elections through provision of technical and political consultancy, in addition to receiving training on communication, a project supported by the Embassy of Netherlands. (L’Orient Le Jour, February 9, 12, 2018)

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