“Our causes are many, our anger is one,” was the main slogan that brought together thousands of women and over 21 NGOs and organizing fronts for the second consecutive year in 2018. As in the previous year, Fe-Male was one of the key organizers of this March, given its remarkable outreach and networking capacities. Day in day out before the march, Fe-Male’s team was busy coordinating with the women’s rights organizations in the country (the old and the new generation of feminists) and especially with the Feminist Bloc that Fe-Male was one of its key was establishers back in 2017.
Women, activists, and feminist blocs hoisted banners and chanted anti-patriarchy slogans calling for equality and change. They demanded reforms in the current political and civil laws, where they asserted the right to a civil personal status law. Women and girls shouted out about their rights to protection from gender-based violence and harassment, and to more engagement in policy making. On the other hand, migrant women and men called for fundamental human rights, namely the abolishment of the Kafala (sponsorship) system, and Trans* and queer and men raised the rainbow flags, and were not afraid to speak their minds and show off their vibrant colors.
The crowd displayed a healthy and encouraging variety, both from a demographic standpoint and in regards to political leanings. As marchers made their way through the narrow streets of Beirut, the louder they became displaying defiance in the face of what many perceive as stagnant and outdated politics. To many of the women who attended, this event was an opportunity to show solidarity and express their discontent. “We come to declare that we refuse to compromise on women’s issues. While state institutions, laws, and sectarian political parties maintain their loyalty to the patriarchal system, we insist on resisting them every day.”