One of Fe-Male’s main goals is to expand and strengthen the feminist movement by providing women with a safe haven for them to express themselves and to help them grow and break the unjust social and legal restrictions forced on them. Fe-Male realized early that it is important to provide this support not just in the city of Beirut, but even more so in conservative areas where women and young girls need such spaces. So, in 2018, two feminist clubs were established in Tripoli (North Lebanon) and Nabatieh (South Lebanon) creating platforms that connect different ideas and introduce new concepts, like solidarity, feminist values, and citizenship, in addition to increasing youth awareness on the numerous women’s causes and struggles in Lebanon and the region, and to deepen their knowledge on the fundamentals of feminism and what it means to be a feminist in the Lebanese context.
The feminist clubs were never the final goal; however, they did provide a link between many women and young girls who were unable to commute to the capital Beirut, did not have proper resources, or had other restrictions. The clubs also informed the discussion on different social standards and roles, challenged the status quo, and introduced innovative ways to break the cycle of unequal power formation.
Fast forward to December 2021, Fe-Male proudly was able to establish two centers in Tripoli and Nabatieh despite all the challenges and instability the country went through. We now have more than 80 young members as well as many others in these regions wanting to contribute to this feminist movement. Through these centers, we’ll be more involved and quicker to respond to the needs of women, girls, and youth of these communities who previously expressed how the centralization of humanitarian and development work in the city, Beirut, is very constraining to their activism.
Our main concern and purpose in creating these two centers are to provide a safe space for women, girls, and youth in both areas to enable them to easily and frequently meet and share ideas, thoughts, activities, and debates. The centers will also host different educational workshops and development training to expand their personal and social skills within their communities.