NAYA| Lebanon to host its first edition of the International Feminisms Festival

The festival’s first edition is directed towards the evaluation of the situation of women in Lebanon, the Arab world, and the world.
by Christy-Belle Geha

27 February 2020 | 15:34

Source: by Annahar

  • by Christy-Belle Geha
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 27 February 2020 | 15:34

Image file shows the International Feminisms Festival's event poster (Source: Joumana Haddad Freedoms Center)

BEIRUT: The Institut Français du Liban is hosting Lebanon’s first edition of the International Feminisms Festival from February 27 till March 1, a week prior to the International Women’s Day on March 8.

The festival is co-organized by the Joumana Haddad Freedoms Center (JHFC) and the Institut Français du Liban, in partnership with the Arab Institute for Women (AiW), Lebanon Support, and l’Institut des Sciences Politiques de l’Université Saint-Joseph (ISP USJ).

“When I founded the Joumana Haddad Freedoms Center in 2019, I thought that the center would be the perfect context to start working on a feminisms festival, which idea had been on my mind for two years now. Celebrating feminism and promoting equality and women’s rights, are a must,” noted Joumana Haddad, founder, and director of the Joumana Haddad Freedoms Center.

The festival’s first edition is directed towards the evaluation of the situation of women in Lebanon, the Arab world, and the world.

It aims to incite the long-term engagement of women in the Arab world amidst a general condescension towards women’s role and women’s rights.

“This discussion is relevant now more than ever after we’ve seen how many women were involved in the October 17 revolution,” Haddad told NAYA. “Despite the hard work made by many NGOs, women are still vastly excluded from the decision-making sphere. There are many discriminatory laws against women, especially on the personal status level because of the religious courts.”

In the presence of Lebanese, Arab, and international guests from feminist activists, academics, media personalities, to artists and intellectuals, the festival envelops round-table discussions, conferences, and workshops.

“This festival is about Feminisms, considering that we respect the diversity that globally exists and the struggle of each movement under the big umbrella of ‘Feminism’.”

Access to the festival is free of charge and open to all, in order to encourage people from all walks of life to engage and defend women's causes.

“Everyone is a targeted audience because feminism is humanism, so it concerns old and young, women and men, people from different backgrounds and schools of thought,” added Haddad.

The festival’s first edition is shedding the light on the history of feminism, the roots of patriarchy, the stereotypes favoring patriarchy, the role of men, and their responsibility in this cause.

“We wanted a variety of speakers from the Arab world, especially from countries where there’s an ongoing revolution because we know how much women are involved in these social movements happening.”

“We hope that this festival will be a wake-up call for sexist individuals,” emphasized Haddad. “No society can advance without its women’s capacities being respected and invested in.”

A parallel conversation with Algerian poet and feminist Zuleikha Tahar is taking place in Tripoli on February 29, co-organized by the International Feminisms Festival and the “Let’s talk politics” group.

“We also want people to have a good time, enjoy, and engage,” she added.

An instant Arabic-French translation will be available for every event.


Welcome to “NAYA,” the newest addition to Annahar’s coverage. This section aims at fortifying Lebanese women’s voices by highlighting their talents, challenges, innovations, and women’s empowerment. We will also be reporting on the world of work, family, style, health, and culture. NAYA is devoted to women of all generations. NAYA Editor, Sally Farhat: [email protected]

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