President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, asserted his support for setting a quota for women’s representation in Parliament.
“Not only because women constitute half of the Lebanese society, but also because they have proven competence, presence and excellence in the tasks entrusted to them in the public and private sectors” the President said.
President Aoun also stressed that the presence of women in the legislative authority constitutes an additional value to popular representation on one hand, and embodies equality between men and women and eliminates any discrimination between them on the other, pointing to his readiness to support any constitutional amendment that achieves this goal.
Stances of President Aoun came while meeting a delegation of the National Commission for Lebanese Women headed by Mrs. Claudine Aoun Roukoz, today at Baabda Palace.
The delegation included: Randa Abboud, Ghada Hamdan, Ghada Jumblatt, Katie Shami, Susi Poladian, Mr. Gad Negm, Micheline Massaad, Aline Aoun, Rita Rashid Salameh, Maria Geagea and Joumana Mafarrej.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Chairman of the Authority gave a speech in which she said:
“The National Commission for Lebanese Women has the honor to present to you an amendment text to the Parliamentary Elections Law to include a quota for women. The Commission has prepared this text and deposited it with the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the Presidency of the House of Representatives, and it hopes that the Parliament will adopt it.
It is no longer reasonable to describe our system as democratic when half of its citizens are represented only in a symbolic way. It is no longer reasonable, in light of circumstances in which we desperately need to revive the dynamism of our institutions, for women to be excluded from participating in the awaited legislative workshop.
We all know that the almost absence of women in our parliament is not due to a lack of their leadership or legislative abilities. The women of Lebanon have proven the opposite. It is due to the fact that the prosecution is tantamount to establishing a clientelistic relationship between the representative and the voter. This obsolete view of the role of the nation’s deputy is now rejected by every citizen who chose not to lose hope in the country’s future.
Today, we in the National Commission for Lebanese Women insist that Lebanese women enter Parliament and form a critical mass in it in order to contribute to developing legislation and finding solutions to crises.
Given that the political parties and formations that will participate in the elections, it is difficult to nominate women for fear that this will pose a risk in winning seats. The Commission believes that allocating 24 seats in Parliament for women, distributed according to percentages based on regions and sects, is the most appropriate solution to break the deadlock that hinders renewal and diversity in political representation and contributes to the reorganization of the work of institutions.
We consider, Mr. President, that the men and women of Lebanon, and consequently their representatives in Parliament, feel ashamed that Lebanon is considered among the most backward countries in the world in relation to the participation of its women in political life. This harms our dignity and hurts our pride in ourselves and our country.
We know that this reality also affects your feelings, so we ask your Excellency to support our demand for a quota”.
Then, the delegation discussed the ways to achieve the commission’s demands and the cooperation that is supposed to be established between the competent authorities to achieve the desired goals.