BEIRUT — Earlier this month, Lebanon voted in parliamentary elections to fill seats based on a new system of proportional representation. After the ballots were counted, women occupied six of the 128 seats. This small number looks even smaller when one takes into account that there were 111 female candidates out of 976 total. These figures indicate how difficult it is for women to become legislative representatives and decision-makers.
Previously, with so few female parliamentarians and candidates, some believed that women themselves were the problem. That is, they simply preferred not to run. The May 6 election showed, however, that women do want to take part in national decision-making, but when they set out to do so, they find obstacles in their way.