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111 women out of 976 candidates in 2018 elections


The number of women running for the parliamentary elections totaled 111 out of 976 nominees, (nearly 11.3%), which, according to L’Orient Le Jour, is not enough, yet it is a significant step forward. In previous elections of 2005 and 2009, the respective count of women, according to OLJ, was 12 of 702 candidates (1.7%) and 4 of 976 candidates (0.4%) respectively. An Nahar newspaper reported that the overall number of women nominees for 2018 is the highest in the history of Lebanese parliamentary elections, and this is due to the aggressive media campaigns and consistent efforts of the civil society organizations. Nevertheless, An Nahar concluded, the record high female nomination is paralleled by fear that this achievement will not be translated in the final electoral lists or in commitment to vote for women nominees against men candidates. On the other hand, L’Orient Le Jour drew attention to the difficulties faced by women wishing to run for elections and which was clearly noted in the closing ceremony on Friday of the ‘Women in Elections’ project run by Women in Front association, supported by UNDP and funded by UN Women and the EU. On this, Neemat Badriddine revealed that she wanted to run on the Nabatiyeh constituency, but the political parties in the area vetoed her presence on their lists and chose a male from her family instead, which forced her to nominate herself in Beirut. Similarly, Halima Qaaqur, who wanted to run in the Shuf-Aley constituency, was asked by her family to pull out as one of her male relatives is running on the same constituency. The member of the Free Patriotic Movement, Rindala Jabbur, from the West Beqaa-Rashayya area, also faced the same fate. (Al Akhbar, Al Mustaqba, An Nahar, L’Orient Le Jour, Al Diyar 7 March 2018)


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