Lebanese women face discrimination in many areas. Women are discriminated against through the country’s laws, economic practices, and social and political norms. Notwithstanding, important efforts have been undertaken by NGOs, international institutions and governmental entities to reduce discrimination. Yet, these efforts usually focused on women in urban areas and especially in Beirut or in the refugee community. Women in the Lebanese countryside, however, are often still living under the shadow of patriarchy and unaware of their own rights.

Together with LOUDER, FNF has developed the “Min Haqqi” app – “I have the right” to increase the awareness of Lebanese women in rural areas. The app is designed to enable women in rural areas to access information about their rights and connect with each other.

Interview with Khouloud Khatib – President of the Human Rights Organisation and Partner of FNF - LOUDER

What is the situation of women in Lebanon?

Lebanon has ratified several international human rights treaties that promote women’s rights. However, Lebanese laws still explicitly permit violence and discrimination against women; personal status laws, especially civic rights, family matters such as equality in marriage, divorce, and custody, violate women’s rights. In addition, the nationality law restricts Lebanese female citizens from passing on their nationality to their children or their foreign husband. Moreover, the new law that was passed in 2014 to prevent domestic violence lacks the ability to establish protective and legal resources for women. In addition, at the level of political participation, the presence of women in decision-making processes and representative institutions at all levels remains scant.

Why is it important to tackle the rights of women in rural areas in particular?

Women in rural areas are at a disadvantage compared to women living in cities. Rural women face extreme challenges in realizing their human rights, and still face difficulties when trying to access productive and economic resources. More specifically, rural women and girls are often excluded from leadership and decision-making, they are denied justice systems and policing services, and are at increased risk of violence.

Khouloud Khatib, president of LOUDER

What are you trying to achieve with the project with FNF?

The project aims to ensure women and girls are aware of their basic human rights as indicated in international instruments and national laws. Informing, raising awareness and mobilizing on Rights Based Education for both men and women in the community is vital to change hearts and minds about the customary practices that limit the role of women. Knowing and claiming their rights, will help women improve their livelihoods and well-being.

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