By Dalila Mahdawi
Daily Star staff
Saturday, November 21, 2009
BEIRUT: The head of a leading Lebanese social justice organization on Friday lamented the absence from the Ministerial Statement any efforts toward reforming the country’s sexist nationality law. Lina Abou-Habib, executive director of the Collective for Research, Training and Development-Action, said Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud relayed to the organization his disappointment that out of 30 ministers, which includes two female ministers, only he and Information Minister Tareq Mitri had urged the Ministerial Statement include a clause acknowledging the need to reform the country’s 1925 nationality law.
The law allows Lebanese men to pass on their nationality to their non-Lebanese wives and children, but forbids Lebanese women from doing the same.
Abou-Habib said the decision was a “serious setback” for gender equality activists.
“It is extremely disappointing. We were expecting something better from this government given all the work that had been done and all the promises made” on allowing Lebanese women to pass on their nationality, Abou-Habib said.
“It shows consistency with the previous government in terms of the total disregard for women rights and citizenship rights,” she added, noting the Justice Ministry’s recent decision to appeal the granting of citizenship to four children born to a Lebanese mother and an Egyptian father. No ministers were immediately available for comment.
CRTD.A has called for a meeting Wednesday Midday at the Engineers Syndicate in Mosaitbeh to step up action.