A National Campaign has been launched during the International Women day in Lebanon on March 8 2011, under the premises of the first lady of Lebanon and the President of the National Commission of Lebanese Women, Ms Wafa’ Sleiman. The Campaign aims to fulfill equality between women and men in the Lebanese laws, especially the laws that have an economical impact on women;
To illustrate it please refer to the first page of the Flyer widely distributed since March 8 in Lebanon:
For the Campaign, a detailed flyer, compiling the different dispositions of laws with flagrant violations against the principles of equality and women’s rights have been massively distributed;
In Lebanon, many laws and codes that have economical impact such as the Labor Law, the Social security law, the inheritance code, the laws of the civil servants, still have dispositions discriminating against women.
As an example, Lebanese married man have a right for a tax allowance for his children ( 500 000 Lebanese Lira for each child) and wife ( 2.5 million Lebanese Lira) on his personal income tax,
Meanwhile a married working woman doesn’t have a right for a tax allowance according to the disposition 31 of the Lebanese Law on the personal income tax. ( in a previous post I had explained clearly what are the problems facing this specific point the inequality is facing women in Lebanese laws , and I had attached the law on tax income for those who are interested in reading it, and referring to it).
The same goes for the tax on inheritance! Lebanese men have a right to a tax allowance, meanwhile Lebanese women doesn’t have this privilege! The balance of rights is not equal in Lebanon and clearly privilege men.
The eradication of dispositions with negative discrimination against women in the Lebanese legislation is a must, the members of the Lebanese parliament must change their priorities and work together on drafting and amending the laws in accordance to simple general principles : equality between men and women in Lebanon, equality and non discriminatory dispositions in laws in accordance to our Lebanese Constitution and International treaties and Conventions. The preamble of our Lebanese Constitution clearly stipulates in its article 7 “equality” among all Lebanese, and the right to enjoy all their rights. This must be a reality and not only written on paper!
The National Campaign ” look where we still are” (the translation is from me) also pointed out in the brochure the amendments that need to be done; Those amendments were presented by a coalition of forces and parties (NGOs, Syndicates, Associations) advocating within the National Campaign. A great team work of building alliances and networking that in my opinion can push forward women’s rights in Lebanon for a new level of equality and social justice.
For you to know more about the National Campaign please refer to the last page of the brochure distributed, the associations and forces working together and cooperating in the campaign are listed;
The work needed to let Lebanon be a State of Law where rights of all its citizens are enjoyed equally and freely is voluminous. A step forward has already been made: the Lebanese parliamentary commission on Finance and budget has already accepted the draft law, presented by NCLW, letting women and men equally benefit from the tax allowance in the income tax law. Continuous efforts on amending Lebanese laws and reforming them must be done, changes will make Lebanon comply to International treaties and agreements Lebanon has signed such as the Conventions 100 and 111 of ILO, Continuous efforts must imperatively begin to implement the conventions Lebanon has ratified such as the CEDAW; Practical steps such as TAKING action and amending dispositions in laws and codes will have an impact on the Lebanese society where Women will be empowered and will access their full rights as Citizens.
Beirut 13 May 2011
© Rita Chemaly. www.ritachemaly.wordpress.com
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