A call for a feminist block in the Laïque Pride march

Secularism has been a critical demand in Lebanon ever since the declaration of independence. Unable to counter the confessional and sectarian loyalties in the years of the civil war, the question of a secular state rises once again to the fore of political life in Lebanon. This question reflects the need of the Lebanese people to be assured that the present years of civil “peace” will not be interrupted. Taking place on 25 April 2010, the Laïque Pride march represents a sincere initiative by citizens who would like to have a direct relationship with the state, without a mediator in between. Secularism in a country as diverse as Lebanon represents true coexistence, while the current sectarian system represents a crisis. Women’s interest in a secular state goes in parallel with their struggle for equality, justice and full citizenship. Women’s call for a secular state goes hand in hand with the demands for protection from family and gender-based violence. Secularism allows women to be emancipated from sectarian laws that effect their lives and choices, including marriage, heritage, and custody among other issues. We call upon all concerned citizens, women’s rights NGOs, women from all sects and religions, and women of conforming and non-conforming sexualities to march with us in the Nasawiya feminist block, as we demand a secular state in Lebanon.

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Sawt al' Niswa

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