Despite odds, dozens of women run for parliament in Lebanon

According to the website of United Nations' Lebanese Elections Assistance Project, 50.8% of registered voters for the 2018 parliamentary elections are women.

By REUTERS
May 3, 2018 17:24
1 minute read.

Despite odds, dozens of women run for parliament in Lebanon, May 3, 2018 (Reuters)

Despite odds, dozens of women run for parliament in Lebanon, May 3, 2018 (Reuters)

 
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Lebanese women's rights activist, Zoya Jureidini is one of the 86 female candidates out of 595 politicians running in next Sunday's general election, the first in nine years.

The 63-year-old Jureidini, who has been active in public affairs since the early 70s and heads the non-governmental organization KAFA (Arabic for 'Enough'), is part of 'Koullouna Watani' (Arabic for 'We are all National') list, a coalition of independent candidates from civil society groups, not affiliated with any political parties.

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With nearly 15% of candidates being women, the highest percentage of female candidates in Lebanese election, only eight of them are official candidates of the current political parties, which Jureidini says is "disappointing".

She is running as an independent candidate out of a belief that the current political system has not done enough for women.


In North Lebanon's Akkar, Rola al-Murad, who has been fighting for women's role in Lebanon's politics since she was 17, is also heading an all-women list, 'Nisaa Akkar' (Arabic for 'Women of Akkar'), consisting of five female activists in political, social and juridical rights fields.

Initially, 113 women were among the 976 who announced their candidacies for the election. But many had to withdraw because they couldn't get on electoral lists under the requirements of the new election law.

According to the website of United Nations' Lebanese Elections Assistance Project, 50.8% of registered voters for the 2018 parliamentary elections are women.

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