Sit-in of My Nationality campaign in protest against discrimination among Lebanese women

Wed, 09/14/2016

My Nationality is A Right for Me and My Family Campaign staged a sit-in yesterday in front of the ministry of education in Beirut to protest last July’s directive by education minister Abu Saab confining registration of High school students to Lebanese citizens only and demanded an equal treatment of the children of Lebanese women with Lebanese students. Karima Shebbo, speaking on behalf of the campaign, pointed out that the latter has received a number of complaints from Lebanese women married to non-Lebanese stating that their children, as per the minister’s order, have been refused at public schools. Shebbo said this started back in 2014 when the campaign sent an urgent letter to the education minister prompting him to issue a decision exempting children of Lebanese women married to foreigners from the earlier discriminatory directive. In 2015, Shebbo explained, when the problem resurfaced, schools were forced to accept this category of children under the pressure of negotiations. Shebbo pressed the need for drafting a legislation that is more tolerant in observing the basic rights to education and health for example. She urged minister Abu Saab to act quickly in order to save the educational future of those students that have been ill-treated by previous unfair decisions, reminding him of the rights of all to education in line with international human rights agreements and conventions. For her part, Iqbal Dughan, president of the Lebanese Women Council, considered that what is happening today is a fallout of the deprivation of Lebanese women from their rights to pass nationality to their children. “We are Lebanese citizens,” she said, “and the Constitution has guaranteed us the right to equality with our men partners,” she added, warning politicians and officials of “relentless struggle to repossess our rights to nationality.” (L’Orient Le Jour, The Daily Star, Al Diyar, Al Mustaqbal, As Safir, An Nahar, September 9, 2016)