“Nationality is a Right for Me and My Family” commemorates Independence Day!

Sun, 11/20/2016

On the occasion of the Independence Day, “My Nationality is a Right for Me and My Family Campaign” organized a symbolic sit-in in front of the French Embassy in Beirut demanding the enactment of a nationality bill which is fair and equal for both women and men. Participants, including women concerned and their families, actors and actresses, as well as civil society and feminist activist, hoisted banners that read, ‘we want a nationality law made in Lebanon’, or ‘our independence will only be complete with independent legislations’, or ‘an expired law’, and others. During the protest, Campaign coordinator, Karima Shebbo, stated that the national law currently in effect has been set by in 1925 (during the French Mandate) by French Commissioner General Serai, which means that ‘our independence is still incomplete and shall only be completed with the updating of laws dating from the French Mandate.” Shebbo strongly called for a just and fair act which is based on gender equality and guarantees the rights of Lebanese women to grant their nationality to their family members. In her address to the legislative and executive authorities and to the President of the Republic, Shebbo called for the creation of laws consistent with the Seventh Paragraph of the Constitution stipulating that ‘all the Lebanese are equal under the law…” For her part, lawyer Iqbal Dughan, President of the Lebanese Council for Women (LCW) made clear that the move is not against the French Embassy, particularly that France has amended and changed the French nationality law and gave women their right to this effect. The protest, Dughan maintained, is against the patriarchal mindset dominating the Lebanese State which prevents Lebanese women from granting their nationality to their children.