Opinions on Women’s Involvement in Politics & Decision-Making Positions - Lebanon
- Survey data suggests that there is a high level of support for women becoming involved in politics as candidates for office. Figure 1 shows that while a majority of men and women support women as political candidates, women are more likely than men to strongly/somewhat support women in politics (86% and 77% respectively). Figure 2 shows that women across sects support women’s involvement in politics; however, Christian women are slightly more likely to support women as political candidates than Sunni women (89% and 81% respectively). Interestingly, women 45 to 54 are more likely to strongly/somewhat support women in politics (89%) than younger women aged 18 to 24 (86%), aged 25 to 34 (84%), and aged 35 to 44 (84%). There is widespread support amongst women across all age groups, however, the variation in age groups could be attributed to the fact that the 25 to 44 age group in Lebanon generally correspond to the time of increased family responsibility, including marriage and raising children. The fact that many of them are at this family stage of their life could explain why women in these age groups are less enthusiastic about the participation of women in politics.
- When asked whether they would encourage their daughter (if they have one or supposing they have one) to become involved in politics, there is also strong support for a daughter to become involved at both a local and national level. Women are more likely to encourage a daughter to become involved in politics as a parliamentary candidate than men (77% and 71% respectively). Again, while a majority of women across sects say they would encourage a daughter to become involved in politics, Christian women are more likely to say they would encourage a daughter as a parliamentary candidate than Sunni women (80% and 71% respectively) and as a municipal candidate (81% and 72% respectively).
- Again, there are statistically significant differences between women of different age groups. Women aged 45-54 are more likely than younger women aged 18-24 and 25-34 to say they would strongly/somewhat encourage their daughter to run as a parliamentary candidate (84%, 73% and 74% respectively).
- Of those women who say they would not encourage a daughter to become involved in politics as a municipal or parliamentary candidate, reasons center more on issues they see with Lebanese politics in general and not gender-specific reasons. Reasons they would not encourage a daughter to become involved in politics include: not wanting their daughter to take part in political work (19%), fear for daughters security because politics is dangerous (13%), the belief that politics in Lebanon is full of lying/corruption/pressure/self-interest (10%), the belief that politics is only for men/men are better than women (10%), that political work is difficult/tiring/a source of anxiety (10%), that women are not qualified/educated (7%) or the belief that women must stay at home (5%).
- Of men who would discourage a daughter from becoming involved in politics, the first and third most-cited responses are based on traditional views of gender roles. The second most-cited reason, consistent with women’s third most-cited reason, is based on issues they see with Lebanese politics in general. Of men who would discourage a daughter from politics, 15% say it’s because women must stay at home, 14% say because politics in Lebanon is full of lying/corruption/pressure/self-interest, 13% say it is because politics is only for men/men are better than women, 12% say they do not want their daughter to take part in political work, 8% say it is because political work is difficult/tiring/a source of anxiety, and 7% fear for daughters security because politics is dangerous. Figure 5 shows the different order of reasons given by men and women for why they would discourage a daughter from involvement in politics.