1993 First Women

Fahima Charafeddine: A feminist researcher and a fierce advocate of women’s rights

Dr. Fahima Charafeddine is an independent researcher and a longtime advocate of women’s rights. She has analysed the women’s movement in Lebanon, and is critical of the mainstream narrative about the movement. She explains her point of view saying:

“Although the Lebanese women’s movement is among the first to sprout in the region, the strategies of the movement, up until the 1990s, were centred on helping women gain their basic rights, such as education, healthcare, and the right to work. I believe the movement followed Kassem Amin’s ideas: making education and work available for women so they can become better mothers and caregivers.” 1

Charafeddine’s contributions to the study of the status of women in Lebanon are invaluable. Her study, “Predicament of Lebanese Women Married to Non-Lebanese” (2009), is one of the most influential ones conducted on Lebanese women’s right to citizenship and nationality. It is often used as a baseline to understand the impact of the stipulations of the Lebanese nationality law on Lebanese women. She, along with others, formed the National Committee for the Follow up of Women’s Issues in 1993 in preparation of the 1995 Beijing World Conference on Women, to ensure effective participation on behalf of Lebanese women. She is currently the president of the committee.