Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil Friday signed a draft law allowing an amendment in his ministry’s internal regulations under which married women could apply for employment in the diplomatic corps, an opportunity that was previously limited to single females.
A ministry statement said the move came as part of Gebran’s bid to reform the ministry’s bylaws to achieve more gender equity.
The proposed draft demanded the amendment of clause 4 in Article 12 of the ministry’s bylaws, which required potential female diplomats to be unmarried.
The draft was referred to the Council of Ministers for approval, the statement said.
The decision was applauded by female activists from the Lebanese Democratic Women’s Gathering, who had addressed an “open letter” to Bassil Thursday, urging him to rectify the “flagrant discrimination” against married women.
“The Lebanese Democratic Women’s Gathering underlines the importance of such a move by Minister Bassil, and congratulate Lebanese women for that achievement, hoping that more such moves will come in order to reach total (gender) equality,” the group said in a second statement issued shortly after Bassil had signed the draft law.
In their open letter on Thursday, the group said: “Persistence in excluding Lebanese women who had fulfilled their natural right for marriage, and depriving them from applying to employment (in diplomatic corps) amounts to a violation of the Lebanese constitution which provides for equality between all citizens.”
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