More than a refugee – Beirut

More than a refugee – Beirut


Beirut, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Association Najdeh organised a conference and open dialogue titled “Refugee and More… The Impact of International Decisions on Refugee Women in Lebanon.” The event was attended by representatives of popular and local committees in the Tyre area, representatives of Palestinian factions, as well as representatives of educational, social, and health institutions, social activists, and media outlets.

After a welcome address by Ms. Majda Jawad, Coordinator of the Women’s and Girls’ Rights Programme in Shatila, the keynote speech for International Women’s Day was delivered, focusing on “Is it a day to celebrate women’s struggles, or a violation of the right to life for Palestinian women and girls!! Therefore, international institutions, starting with the United Nations, passing through human rights institutions, and ending with women’s and girls’ rights organisations and agencies, are called upon to apply consistent and non-discriminatory standards to Palestinian women and girls… and to acknowledge the role of women’s struggle throughout historical milestones and their distinctive role.”

Brigitte Chelebian, lawyer and founder and director of the organisation Justice Without Borders, spoke about international laws related to women’s rights. She also referred to the International Criminal Court concerning the Palestinian issue (regarding justice) and the immunity Israel enjoys from armed conflicts and its impact on women, girls, and children. She outlined mechanisms for food rights and highlighted the importance of awareness of these rights, such as personal status law, social security, nationality, and other rights, emphasising the need for women to be aware of these rights.

Mr. Samer Manaa, Director of the Development Centre for the Defence of Palestinian Refugee Rights, discussed the “catastrophic” consequences of halting UNRWA funding and how this would affect the stability of refugees. He stated that UNRWA is not only a provider of services but also a symbol of Palestinian identity and a carrier of that identity. Stopping UNRWA funding scatters the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, who are living in a state of instability and anxiety following the suspension of funding by Western countries.

At the end of the event, the floor was opened for contributions from the audience.