On 26 January 2017, Lebanese LGBT activists celebrated a significant victory. For the fourth time in the past eight years, a Lebanese judge ruled that homosexuality was not illegal, applying a liberal interpretation of the Lebanese penal code. The abolition of the legal article in question, no. 534, which criminalizes sexual acts contradictory to the ‘laws of nature’, has long been the aim of Hivos’ partner Helem, a local LGBT rights grassroots organization.
The 31st of October was not a particularly good day for Lebanese women. An overhead visual of the Lebanese parliament reminded us of the stark reality that we have only 4 women MPs, that’s 3 % of the total number of MPs, one of the lowest percentages in the world.