The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization in Beirut that was established by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in 2006. SOLIDA has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human violations.

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March 8, 2017

The Daily Star- Four women talk to mark International Women’s Day, March 08 , 2017

The Daily Star
The idea of an international day for women was first tabled in 1910 by a German female political activist whose views on gender equality were ahead of her time.
In the vision proposed by Clara Zetkin at the 1910 International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, women around the world would gather on the same day in solidarity to further amplify their demands.
The United Nations proclaimed March 8 International Women’s Day in 1977, a date that had already long since been marked by women around the world. Over a century since Zetkin’s call, women have won many battles but many are still to be fought.
Four women from different walks of life in Lebanese society spoke to The Daily Star about future and past challenges, what it means to them to be a woman and whether International Women’s Day plays a role in their struggle for gender equality.
I was born in the Nabatieh refugee camp in 1958 and was the oldest of six siblings. When I was 16, the camp was bombed by Israel. Like my parents in 1948, we were forced to move from the second place we called home. Women go through many hardships in life, but Palestinian women in particular face mountains of issues. Living during the war as a Palestinian woman was difficult, to say the least. There were rumors that girls were being kidnapped when moving between camps, but for my family it was my father who was taken. He disappeared and never came back. We never heard what his fate was.
This happened to so many of us that women became the center of the community. In many ways, this made us stronger, it made me stronger.
I was forced to stay strong or my family would fall apart. In our Palestinian society in Lebanon women are the foundation. Our contributions are not only financial, but spiritual. In many ways my childhood was short.
I had to work and I felt that this made me equal to men in many ways, but I was always reminded what it meant to be a woman when I was forced to confront culture and traditions. It forces you to question what your role is in society.
One time, I had planned to go on a trip with some friends. I had already paid and returned home to tell my brother. Even though I was older, he refused to let me go. He didn’t say it explicitly, but he was angry I had decided to go without asking his permission. International Women’s Day is good, but it shouldn’t just be one day of the year.
Women should be appreciated for all our work, sacrifices and the inequality we face. We contribute a lot to society. Sometimes people come up to me on the street and thank me for helping them to learn and that’s a big source of happiness. I feel accomplished that I have helped create change.
Fatima Abdel al-Hadi, 58-years-old, is a community leader and a manager of a technical school for computer literacy in the Burj al-Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp.

Source & Link : The Daily Star

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