January 3, 2012
Any state that does not criminalize all forms of rape cannot be counted on.
We, the women who reside in Lebanon, excuse ourselves from playing the decorative role that has been imposed on us
We take to the streets today to say that we are aware and knowledgeable about the methodical war that state and society have waged on our bodies and our safety through their political parties and leaders.
From now on, we will not accept empty promises that are heaped upon us every time we call for our rights.
We will not give in to patience. We will not bite our wounds and postpone the battles of today to tomorrow.
Our voices will be louder than the bickering between your parties and your sporadic yet connected wars.
We call on Parliament to:
1. Pass the draft law for Protection from Domestic Violence as it has been written and with no delay.
2. Intensify punitive measures against rapists and those who attempt rape, amending the respective law.
3.Treat verbal harassment as physical harassment, especially in the work place, making it a crime subject to judicial penalties.
4. Deal with complaints related to sexual violence with rigor and consistency. We call on the Interior Ministry and the Municipalities to also apply those measures. The three bodies should work to make our streets and neighborhoods safe, especially during the night-time, by ensuring proper street-lighting, and permitting us to carry tools of self-defense, like taser guns and pepper spray.
We extend this invitation to all women and girls who have been exposed to rape or attempted rape or harassment in all its forms, to all so-called ‘housewives‘ that have been subjected to beating and verbal abuse, to all those employees, teachers, activists, workers and union leaders who experience sexual abuse time and time again, and to all those who feel the injustice and lack of equality.
We call on you to join us on the streets on the 14th of January 2012.
We begin the march at 12:00 PM from the Interior Ministry near the Sanayeh Garden, and move toward Parliament at Nejmeh Square.
We women no longer possess anything but solidarity with one another. We must stand shoulder to shoulder and unite. What lies before us is the last of our battles: the defense of our rights, bodies and security.
We have nothing to lose but our chains. The time is now
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