CEDAW experts review Lebanon’s file amid calls for a law that addresses all forms of discrimination against women
Translated and edited by: Committee for Justice
Geneva: February 20 2022
The Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) reviewed the periodic file of the State of Lebanon, in the presence of the Lebanese delegation headed by Nadine Aoun, President of the National Commission for Lebanese Women Affairs, and Salim Baddoura, the Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations in Geneva, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Economy and Trade, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of Migrants, the General Directorate of Internal Security Forces, the General Directorate of General Security, and the National Commission for Lebanese Women.
A UN expert from the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) pointed out that the health sector in Lebanon lacks staff and financial resources, which has made hospitals in Lebanon unable to function properly.
The expert added that medicine prices have quadrupled since the beginning of the financial crisis, which prevents a large number of citizens from accessing them.
Another member of the committee explained that since 2021, inequality between men and women has increased in Lebanon. Emphasis was placed on the need for Lebanon to undertake legislative reform so that all the provisions of the Convention are fully implemented.
The member stressed the importance of Lebanon’s adoption of a law that addresses all forms of discrimination against women, calling for the use of temporary special measures to accelerate the achievement of equality between men and women to be extended to all areas.
The head of the Lebanese delegation, Nadine Aoun, stressed while presenting her country’s report that this dialogue is taking place while Lebanon is going through a real collapse of its political and socio-economic structures, with half of the population now living below the poverty line.
Aoun indicated that Lebanon is preparing for the legislative elections next May, recalled Ms. Aoun. She indicated that the National Commission for Lebanese Women, which she chairs, has sought to increase women’s representation in parliament by seeking to introduce an amendment to the law on legislative elections to include a quota for women.
She added that although Parliament has not taken a final decision in this direction, the fact remains that a women’s unit has been established within the army, with the arrival of 51 female officers at the end of their training.
Aoun also stressed the need for her country to struggle more against the “positions of the past”, to focus more on the rights of Palestinian and Syrian refugees, and to combat the prejudices of those who fear the freedom of Lebanese women.