Women in the Lebanon gained the right to vote in 1952, only 5 years after men received the right to vote. The end of the French mandate in 1947 extended the vote to Lebanese men but not women.

The extension of women’s votes was early compared to Saudi Arabia, which only passed women’s suffrage for local elections in 2015. However, while women over the age of 21 in the Lebanon can vote, they must have a primary school education. In comparison, it is compulsory for all men over the age of 21 to vote, regardless of their level of education.

Most people in Lebanon do receive a primary school education, with eleven or twelve being the average school finishing age. However, this still means that if for whatever a girl does not reach that level of education, she cannot vote. While all men must vote, women are not required to.

Compulsory voting is proven to increase voter turnout, such as in Australia, where turnout is regularly over 90%.

The contribution women make to Lebanese society is also undermined by the fact they cannot in their own right pass on citizenship to their children. In order to become a Lebanese citizen, your father must be a citizen.

 

Photo by Arnaud Jaegers on Unsplash

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