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International Women’s Day – March Against Domestic Violence in Lebanon

March 8, 2014


A few thousand demonstrators took to the streets of Beirut today to call for the passing of the draft law to protect women from domestic violence. Civil groups and Lebanese people first gathered at the National Museum at the demonstration at 2 p.m., organized by KAFA, a Lebanese non-profit, before marching for over an hour, with the phrase “Battel,” or (literal translation is something like, strongly saying “wrong!”), thundering from the people.

Many events have been bringing this issue into headlines recently, as there have been a string of men who allegedly beat their wives to death. The “I Am Not Naked” campaign I wrote about a couple of weeks ago was primarily addressing this issue (I saw one of the co-founders at the protest) as well. This is not an issue solely incensed by the recent deaths though – according to KAFA, on average, one woman dies every month Lebanon as a result of domestic violence.

Though the law hasn’t been passed, some are asking for it. Yesterday, MP Stride Geaga asked lawmakers to endorse the waiting draft law that would protect the women who desperately need it from domestic violence.

In an article in the Daily Star, she was quoted in a statement saying, “As a woman in the Lebanese Parliament, I regret this setback the country is witnessing at the level of women’s rights.” She talked about how Lebanon, once a country pioneering womens rights when they allowed them to vote in the 1950s, has now fallen back.

During the protest, Nizar Nijjar, 28, held a sign reading, “Make her a partner in your path, not a partner for your beating.” He was happy to see the turnout. “It’s been gaining momentum and it’s really exciting to finally be here and to see this many people attending this event,” he said.

Nizar Najjar, 28, holds a sign that reads, "Make her a partner in your path, not a partner for your beating."

Nizar Najjar, 28, holds a sign that reads, “Make her a partner in your path, not a partner for your beating.”

Included below are some shots from today’s demonstration. Happy International Women’s Day.

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