The government policies to diminish
discrimination against women in Lebanon since
the ratification of the CEDAW convention

The most recent mechanisms to implement the CEDAW convention on the official level in Lebanon can be summarized as the following:

  • Lebanon has ratified many conventions issued by the UN and the ILO regarding women's rights.
  • ·Women's issues are distributed among many ministries that are directly concerned and involved with women's rights, like the Ministries of Justice, Social Affairs and Health…
  • In 1998 a National Commission for Lebanese Women was established under law no. 720 to represent Lebanese women within the government. This National Commission is presided over by the First Lady and is linked directly to the Prime Ministry in order to have a national plan of action to follow up the enforcement of the convention.
  • Lebanon, through the National Commission for Lebanese Women, has submitted its first offical report on the CEDAW convention in Beijing+5 New york, June 2000.
  • Public institutions carried out Programmes on the implementation of the convention along with NGOs and supported by ESCWA, UNDP, UNICEF, UNIFEM and the European Union.
  • Some achievements have been carried out on the legislative level. Example of which is the amendment of some discriminating laws such as the partial amendment of article 562 of the Penal Code concerning what is called as "Crimes of honor" and articles 625 and 627 of the Terrestrial Trade Law and some discriminating articles of the Labor Law.
  • Attempts in 1996 by the government to recommend a uniform civil law to govern the personal status.
  • Parliamentary committees cooperate among themselves in an attempt to change the Lebanese laws in order to achieve equality between men and women.
  • The Prime Minister included women's participation in the planning development policies that the Lebanese government is preparing.

Women's rights have never been a priority for the Lebanese government, unfortunately the successive governments are still unaware of the position of women and their importance in building a democratic society. In the last years following Lebanon's ratification of the convention the government has not proceeded until now to lift the reservations made on the convention. Subsequently, it has not established the principle of equality between men and women. Lebanese women have only obtained some of their rights and are setting their hopes on the new regime. Achievements are considered half done since some laws have been amended but such laws still lack the implementation mechanism. The recent governments have not taken the interest to reconsider effectively the roles shared by men and women whether in the social economic or political life. The government along with the official institutions has considered many issues as one of their priorities; yet, this concern has not been interpreted in practice. Finally, it should be noted that there are neither programmes to attract womend facilitate her access to public and political offices nor programs and policies seeking at women's empowerment education of their rights. Field studies have revealed so far women's exclusion in the governmental policies.

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