Two female MPs, Cynthia Zarazir & Halima Kaakour, were disrespected and bullied inside the Lebanese parliament last week. MP Zarazir revealed in a press conference that she was catcalled by pro-government Amal MPs, given a filthy office containing Playboy magazines and used condoms and mocked over her family name.

Meanwhile, MP Kaakour was asked to “sit down and shut up” by the speaker of the house Nabih Berri during a session and her reply “What is the patriarchal method?” was deleted after MP Farid el Khazen thought it was related to the patriarch and requested to have it removed from the record.

Cynthia Zarazir said she will carry a gun with her to parliament after consulting the army commander [Getty]

Women in politics still lack proper representation and remain the victims of a crippling patriarchal social structure. Kudos to Cynthia for standing up to her harassers and I hope she goes further and exposes them by the name, especially that the General Secretariat of the Lebanese parliament has denied her accusations instead of opening an investigation.

As for the MP who got offended by the term “patriarchal”, thinking it was related to the patriarch, and for the speaker of the parliament who agreed on removing it, here’s what it means:

البطريركية (بالإنجليزية: Patriarchy)‏ (وتسمى نظام أبوي وذكوريّة) هي تنظيم اجتماعي يتميز بسيادة الذكر الرئيس (الأب) وتبعية النساء والذريّة له بما فيه التبعية القانونية، وتفترض التوريث واستكمال الإنتساب لذكور من السلالة، متوسلة -عادة- بالأعراف والتقاليد. ويُقصد بها الإستحقاق وهيمنة شخص -غالبا ذكر- مستحثاً بصفة موازية لكبير العشيرة أو القبيلة، كالأب في العائلة أو كرأس للكنيسة وغيرها. وكذلك يستخدم المصطلح للإشارة لسلطة الذكور على النساء تحديدا.

Let’s hope we will soon have a speaker of the parliament capable of punishing & expelling such backward-thinking men instead of protecting them and covering up for their filth.