Because it’s 2015!

P.M. Justin Trudeau gives Canada a first cabinet with ethnically diverse ministers and an equal number of men and women, and in my home country, Lebanon, women can’t even confer their nationality to their husbands or children.

As a naturalized Canadian citizen, I am proud of the gender equality under the law in the land of maple, poutine and hockey, and as a native Lebanese, I am more than ashamed of the discriminatory laws that deny women their basic rights in the land of the alphabet, the cedars and the thousands of years of rich history.

I am ashamed of the mountains and rivers of trash, of the abysmal State, of the wasted opportunities for change, and more, of the non-recognition of women as full nationals and citizens.

“Because it’s 2015”, Trudeau said, when asked about why parity was important to him, but in Lebanon 2015, the denial of basic rights places women in a subordinate second class position, and leads to marginalization and social exclusion.

Citizenship “is both a status (or an identity) and a practice or process of relating to the social world through the exercise of rights/protections and the fulfillment of obligations” (Meer and Sever, 2004).  Citizenship should be inclusive, incorporating the interests and needs of all citizens, and an active concept, a relationship that promotes participation and agency, such as in Canada. But in Lebanon, the identity ascribed to women is in relation to men – passive, eternally immature and dependent – even if there are/were women who are/were able to re-shape their identities .

As long as most women are not able to make claims as citizens in their own rights nor to fully exercise political, economic, social and cultural rights, a Lebanese half-female cabinet is just a mirage in an expanding desert of ignorance.

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  1. It’s 2015 and I can’t describe the level we have reached…
    low low low… extremely low …
    multiple crises and garbage everywhere.
    Women ministers? It’s a dream! Let’s have 24h electricity first and get rid of our filth !

  2. It’s 2015 and many Lebanese tend to forget about (or don’t want to deal with) their highly toxic environment, the political mafias and still hate each other on the basis of sectarianism.
    As for women, they play a major role in the perpetuation of such an awful situation. Lebanese men sell their souls to the external powers, and Lebanese women (most of them) sell their souls to Lebanese men by letting themselves be subjugated.

  3. Good morning Dr. It’s 2015 and our personal status depends on retrograde sectarian laws. I am also ashamed. Thank you for raising this issue!

  4. We will keep on fighting for our rights, instead of fighting for a piece of cloth at H&M just like few days ago (ABC stores).

  5. Love it !
    Thank you for writing such interesting and enlightening posts. Keep on fighting.

  6. Because it’s 2015 in Lebanon, we are drowning in garbage and battling with green flies and yes our basic rights are completely destroyed. There is no value for the human being, period, whether man or woman.

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