In response to the cabinet’s passing of the law to restore the nationality to Lebanese descendants:Lebanon is the land of men alone!

Wed, 12/14/2011

In its Monday December 12, 2011 hearing, the Lebanese council of ministers passed the draft law “to restore the nationality to Lebanese descendants” but only after making an amendment dubbed “minor” by the Minister of Interior, Marwan Charbel. The amendment consisted of granting the nationality according to the blood connection with the father and not the mother. This unfortunately reflects the fact that Lebanese women’s issues and rights are still approached with a patriarchal mentality and that women are being alienated and deprived from their rights.

The campaign, “My Nationality is a Right for me and my Family” expresses its anger vis-à-vis the position of the cabinet over the quick voting on the law and the incurred amendment. The campaign wishes to highlight the following points:

First: The ministers and presidents justified the passing of the law through the pretext of allowing the immigrants to take part in the economy and politics at a time when hundreds of thousands of working Lebanese women are actively supporting the national economy either directly or indirectly. Nevertheless, these women are still deprived of their rights to full citizenship and they may not pass their nationality to their children and husbands.

Second: The council of ministers treated the concerned draft law as a priority and passed it. However, the campaign, “My Nationality is a Right for me and my Family” has presented, more than three months ago, a draft law to PM Najib Mikati aiming at bringing justice to Lebanese women. So far, the prime minister has failed to respond.

Third: The campaign, “My Nationality is a Right for me and my Family” stresses on that it does not oppose the passing of the law to restore the nationality to the Lebanese descendants considering that this is a right to all the Lebanese men and women despite the fact that the campaign has not been acquainted with the draft law’s repercussions and details.

Fourth: The campaign condemns the fact that Lebanese women have been once again deprived of their rights to a full citizenship and the amendment of the law in a way as to exclude them, and the fact that the blood connection has been limited to the father alone. It is as if the Lebanese women do not have any Lebanese blood running in their veins and as if they are not part of the reproduction process and the building of the families.

Fifth: The campaign notes that PM Naamatallah Abi Nasr has finally realized the “dream that he had since the independence!” The campaign considers that it is a good thing that he acknowledged that passing the nationality is a right rather than a gift bestowed by anyone. The campaign further condemns the fact that Abi Nasr has denied the Lebanese women while providing justice to the Lebanese women immigrants and residents is a right that must be treated as a priority by all the officials before working on tackling a marginal issue, that of restoring the Lebanese nationality to the Lebanese descendants.

Finally, the campaign, “My Nationality is a Right for me and my Family” calls on the parliament not to pass the draft law in its current format before discussing it at length and making sure that the law guarantees justice to all the Lebanese people. The campaign also calls on the Women and Children Committee to play an essential part in this discussion as a preface to pushing the passing of the nationality law amendment to achieve equality between women and men.

The campaign, “My Nationality is a Right for me and my Family”

Wednesday December 14, 2011