I am proud of these inspiring Lebanese women who’ve put some great efforts to make this project happen. I’ve met some of the founders of this project in Beirut the past year, they’re good people and I have high hopes for this project.
One thing I dont like about their website, however, is that it’s mostly in English, and English is just not our region’s language and we cannot make a change adopting other people’s languages. After all, language is about communication, even though I think it’s much more than that, but I do not believe that any change could happen addressing the English-speaking people when they’re are, perhaps, more familiar with feminism. Unlike a blog, a project that has goals to achieve in a certain region needs to address the regional people in their very language. God knows that the very reason that I am hated by some Syrian bloggers who write in Arabic for my posts on LGTB were written in Arabic, not in English.
In other words, it’s easier to write in English about a topic that is far from familiar to the Arab world. Not to say that I think the west supports LGTB rights, I mean, in the west, they’re all about “free talking”.
But I am sure they’ll be working on this issue in the near future. Anyways, back to my sisters over here, check their core of values:
– Domestic migrant workers are employees and should have all the rights of employment, starting with respect and equality.
– We have a responsibilty to be smart consumers since what we buy and where we buy from are political as well as personal choices that effect us all.
Here is a list of things they believe that need to be changed:
– We are supposed to be smart and educated, but only to a certain extent.
– We are supposed to go out into the world, but only if we are chaperoned by a male family member.
– Throughout our lives, we have to prove that we are good daughters and then good wives and then mothers.
– We are supposed to want to be wives and mothers.
– We are all supposed to be strictly heterosexual.
– We are expected to look desirable but not act on our desires.
– We are expected to look good but not too good because then we’d be looking for attention, harassment, and even rape.
– Our family is supposed to be our protector, but a huge number of us are abused, physically and/or orally, inside our homes, by members of our families, and there are no laws to protect us from familial violence.
– In a country where more than half of the population are women, we have only 6 women parliament members, and only one minister is a woman.
– We are required to go from our parents’ house straight to our husband’s house.
– We’re not really Lebanese citizens, we’re just the daughters of Lebanese men. Because if we really did possess a Lebanese citizenship, we’d be able to pass our nationality to our husbands and children; but we can’t.
– And even though we are supposed to be equal in the eyes of the law, we are far, very far from being equal to men.
Their take on the argument that treats Arab feminist movements as westernized and imported:
Feminism is not an imported idea. Every time a woman stands up and refuses to be abused and exploited, every time she speaks up against her abusers, every time a woman believes in her capabilities and pursues her needs and ambitions, every time she resists being a victim or an object or an inferior being, she is being a feminist. And we don’t need any Western movement to teach us that — we’ve been doing it all along! And even though some of you may not call yourself a feminist, we’re sure you’ve been doing it too.
And finally, on Women’s international day, they’re going to hit the streets of Beirut, check their event on Facebook, their posts on their website, in EN and here in AR.