Lebanese government Decree

Reservations made by Lebanon

The Lebanese National Action Plan

Lebanon's Initial Report

Lebanese government decree in Lebanon and the convention


The Lebanese Government has submitted reservations on the following articles of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women:

  • Subsection 2) of article 9 concerning equal rights of women with men with respect to the nationality of their child.
  • Subsection c) of article 16 concerning equal rights in marriage.
  • Subsection d) of article 16 concerning equal rights and responsibilities in matters relating to their children.
  • Subsection f) of article 16 concerning equal rights and responsibilities in matters relating to guardianship, wardship, trusteeship and adoption.
  • Subsection g) of article 16 concerning the equal right to choose a family name.
  • Subsection 1) of article 29 concerning to the submission of disputes, between two States Parties or more, to arbitration.

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The Lebanese National Action Plan


I. The Task ..................................................................................................... 3

II. National Plan for Action 1997-2000 ........................................................... 4

I. The Task

The National Committee for Lebanese Women's Affairs believes that the epoch following the Beijing Conference represents a significant turning point in supporting women's issues. It was characterized by action to establish a national authority for women's issues in Lebanon, as proposed by the Lebanese National Report to the Beijing Conference.

Therefore, this stage is partially devoted to establishing a legal foundation for this authority's work, through a statute that governs its work and relationships and enables the National Committee to move toward the achievement of its goals.

The National Committee considers itself as the catalyst behind the activities that will seek to promote the advancement of women. Such a task puts it in a strategic position that separates it from governmental institutions on one hand and civil and private entities, particularly those concerned with women's affairs, on the other hand. It is designed to support the programs and activities of governmental, civil, and private institutions in as much as they conform with the policy set by the National Committee in the National Plan for action.

In view of this position, the National Committee feels it necessary to draw up a statute that defines its work and relationships, as well as a policy by which it supports and encourages the field activities contributing to the accomplishment of the goals specified in the National Strategy, namely:

  1. Achieving full legal equality between men and women in the various fields.

  2. Ensuring the human rights of women.

  3. Ensuring women's access to safe and sustainable means of earning a living, to combat hunger, homelessness and poverty.

  4. Empowering women, strengthening their status and developing their capabilities.

  5. Increasing women's participation in structures of authority and in decision-making.

  6. Establishing the legitimacy of equality between men and women in the prevailing culture and in all behavioral patterns.

II. National Plan for Action 1997-2000

In View of The Task Explained Above, The National Committee Plan Includes The Following Measures, Activities and Programs:

  1. Taking the necessary measures to institutionalize the activity of the national authority for women's affairs.

    The position of the National Committee for Women's Affairs is so important that it requires clear bases for its establishment, for defining its tasks and authority and for devising a statute governing its work and relationships. Such bases should make its work crystal clear and help to make it lasting and stable. The statute will clarify its work and foster its credibility. All this will ensure a balance in its dealings with the various governmental, civil and private entities working for women or directly concerned with their affairs, and reinforce its legitimacy as a national authority.

  2. Taking measures to set up and develop a comprehensive data base on the status of women in the various fields, in addition to publicizing and dissemination information at all levels.

    The lack of information about women's status before Beijing was, to a great extent, the reason for the indifference prevailing even among women about the injustices often suffered by them and the discrimination they faced in the various fields. Therefore, collecting and processing data and issuing statistical reports, including indicators about women's status in the various fields, is a fundamental task, because it contributes to developing the public awareness about the disparity between men and women in rights and opportunities and in their participation in decision-making at the various levels. Such information should provide a clear picture and guide the policies defined by civil, governmental and private institutions to boost women's status.

  3. Planning mechanisms to follow up work pertaining to women in the various areas and creating a new dynamism to deal conscientiously, positively and objectively with women's issues.

    The National Plan for Action is based on the belief that a significant change in the status of women requires a special effort that focuses on issues of importance for the possibility of eliminating discrimination between men and women.

    1. Legislation and civil organizations are important in this area due to the negative or positive effects they may have on women's status.

    2. The media has a significant effect because of the role it plays in influencing attitudes and social behavior, as a result of its substantial contribution to building the prejudice that traditionally led to discrimination against women; thus monitoring what appears in the media is important to the mission of The National Committee. This task involves exercising pressure to make a qualitative change of women's image in the media.

    3. The economic field is also so important in this respect that mechanisms must be created to look into the organic relationship between the economic power of women and their status in the society at all levels (family, social and political), and the roles they may be given as a result of this status.

    4. In the context of creating a new dynamism to deal with women's affairs, a social follow-up mechanism should be established to allow the National Committee to be informed about events with regard to the status of women. This mechanism will reassure women that a caring system will be constantly monitoring any emerging obstacles and barriers to their advancement.

      This mechanism will also allow measures to be taken to ensure women's human rights.

  4. Encouraging, supporting and following up special programs designed to increase the opportunities for women to earn a sure living, with emphasis on the poorest among women.

    The National Plan aims at encouraging special programs to create new opportunities for a decent living for women in the rural areas and in locations far away from major cities, as well as women living in the poor inner cities and their suburbs. The National Committee will therefore carry out programs designed to support private organizations whose task is to create new job opportunities for women, particularly those which encourage women to be self-employed, by providing the facilities that allow them access to credit. The National Committee gives priority to certain groups of women, the family provider, the disabled, women living in rural areas and those living under occupation being in the forefront.

  5. By taking measures to empower women by fostering their potential and developing their capabilities, The National Committee will encourage and support vocational rehabilitation and training of women by both governmental and private organizations. It will conduct a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the results of such programs in terms of the additional vocational skills that women gain and of their ability to be engaged in remunerative economic activity.

  6. Taking the initiative and inviting all political, professional and administrative entities to adopt a positive policy encouraging woman's participation and promotion to higher positions in every institution.

    1. In supporting this policy, The National Committee will rely on an incentive plan that encourages responsive organizations that adopt a positive policy toward increasing women's participation in their decision-making structures.

    2. The National Committee will evaluate the progress achieved in stages, in order to adjust its plan toward increasing the percentage of women who participate in decision-making in the various governmental, political and administrative institutions and non-governmental, professional, social and cultural organizations.

    3. To prepare women for the new responsibilities which may be assigned to them in various institutions and in every field, The National Committee will encourage and support training seminars for women on communications techniques, social leadership and decision-making.

  7. In its belief that the prevailing social culture is the most important source of cultural and social bias against women, the National Committee will adopt a special policy to deal with this reality.

    1. This policy will be translated into action to encourage and support educational campaigns among youths, in rural areas and in low-income heavily populated areas within the major cities and the capital.

    2. In implementing this policy, The National Committee will cooperate on a large scale with non-governmental, media and cultural organizations working in fields related to social culture and producing and developing social roles.

    3. The National Committee will support the programs of non-governmental organizations which are designed to boost social awareness about women's human rights and the need to change social behavior toward women.

    4. The National Committee will encourage the production of new cultural, educational and information material to publicize a variety of images of advanced and developed women. Programs to disseminate such material to the largest social groups will be supported.

  8. The National Committee will establish incentive programs to encourage intellectuals, writers, theatrical performers and artists to produce works that improve the social image of women and contribute to changing the stereotypes about women toward recognition of their human rights and equality with men in the various fields.

    The initiatives the National Committee intends to take in the various areas will create a new dynamism to deal with women's issues and raise the level of social awareness about these issues and the legitimate rights of women. The various initiatives will have a cumulative impact in that the effort made in one area will have a major positive effect in others, given the linkages between them.

    In implementing its action plan, the National Committee is adhering to the principle of cooperation with all governmental and non-governmental organizations according to their competency and areas of interest, so that the Committee's work will support, guide, contribute and complement the work of such organizations and not replace them.

    The National Committee hopes that this policy will create a dynamism within which all those who work for the advancement of women will interact, and thus the results will have significant effect on the status of women. This work will have its natural place in the framework of the social change process of which it is an integral part.

    In view of this plan for action, the Lebanese National Committee to Followup Women's Affairs introduces the above programs, and commits itself to implement them within the next three years.

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Lebanon's Initial Report

Lebanon's initial report to the CEDAW Committee will be available soon

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