We have followed with great interest the proceedings of the meeting convened by the Maronite clergy to discuss
the imminent dangers caused by what they refer to as “the gender concept”. The conveners warned against the perpetrators of such concept which is likely to “break families and stir people away from all that is natural”.
Whilst this seems to be in total harmony with the wave of increased conservatism, anti-women mindsets and blatant intolerance vis-a-vis any form of diversity exhibited both in the Arab region as well as globally, we nevertheless raise the question as to why the clergy should feel threatened or even worried by universal principle of human rights such as the indivisibility, undeniability and universality of rights. The meeting seems to warn against the fundamental and universal principle of equality amongst women and men.
Amidst these increasing waves of conservatism and fundamentalism and given the threat that social change causes to conservative institutions, we call on human and women rights defenders to stand up to conservatism and rigid and intolerant beliefs, uphold the universality and indivisibility of rights and ascertain that, as proven the world over, there is no social justice without gender equality.
P.S. Information about this meeting is available on: