Lebanese NGO KAFA (Enough) Violence & Exploitation recently launched its 2015 campaign, raising awareness on the lack of a unified civil personal status law governing personal matters for women here in Lebanon – on the occasion of the internationally recognized " 16 days of activism " against gender inequality.
As a country with multiple religions, the Lebanese law grants the authority to the various religious courts over personal matters, leaving women under sectarian personal status laws rather than a unified governmental one. Thus, women are left exactly where they have always been regarding personal matters including marriage and other familial issues, perpetuating the discrimination and oppression even further.
Here's how KAFA decided to shed light on this issue:
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الأحوال الشخصية قاصرة مشهد فيلم من بطولة قوانين الأحوال الشخصية#قانون_سنة_جِدّي_ما_في_يكون_جَدّي #كفى
Posted by KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation on Monday, November 30, 2015
In the video, KAFA features a young girl, a minor, getting married to someone who looks like anything except her husband. People on the streets are disturbingly shocked and begin questioning who is responsible for such a horrid crime. The man responds by saying the law allows it, as do her parents.
Article 9 of the Lebanese Constitution explicitly states that the state guarantees those of different sects respect the personal status and religious interests of the system, leaving religious authorities in charge of things such as divorce, marriage and child custody.
This system means that there are wildly varying minimum ages for marriage - depending on religion, sect and potentially even the whim of a religious authority.
The video ends with the phrase "قانون_سنة_جِدّي_ما_في_يكون_جَدّي", (Laws from the time of our grandparents can not be taken seriously) highlighting the importance of progression.