Iqbal Doughan: An ardent advocate for women’s labour rights
Iqbal Doughan is a women’s rights activist, and is currently the president of the Working Women League in Lebanon. As a labour lawyer, she was the first woman director of the Lebanese directorate for the sorting of tobacco at the Regie factory. As a result, she ran for elections on the Regie Syndicate list, and became a member of the Syndicate from 1998 to 2006 1. She spoke briefly about her involvement in activism, saying:
“I started working at the Regie Libanaise des Tabacs et Tombacs. I joined the union, and from that point onwards, I shifted from doing political work to doing trade-union work. I came to the realisation that women worked in very poor conditions compared to men, even though they worked more. So I started working in favour of equal rights in the scope of trade-union work, and it was there where I met Emily Fares Ibrahim, who was the president of the Lebanese Council for Women at the time.” 2
She would then go on to become the vice president of the Lebanese Council for Women from 1996 to 2000, becoming its president from 2000 to 2004. She was re-elected for a new term in 2016, scheduled to end in 2019. She was one of the founders and the chairs of the Family Rights Network (2008), a network that promotes the reform of family laws and personal status codes. Doughan is currently working with many organisations to push for the reform of personal status laws and the amendment of the legal age of marriage.