Under the Glass Ceiling and in the Family ‘Cage’: The Role of Women in Lebanese Politics

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Throughout Lebanese history women have managed to reach the top of the political pyramid and fill leadership positions to a degree that does not exist in other Arab countries. While the phenomenon is most widespread in the Maronite Christian community, in the Druze, Shiite and Sunni communities it manifests itself mainly as women filling in for men or being the power behind the scenes. The political presence described above, however, does not represent a major breakthrough or the abandonment of the rather narrow framework that is generally available for women. In almost every case women who achieve political prominence are, at present or have been in the past, filling some position temporarily for their husbands or some other close relative, until the next male generation of the family can take over. This phenomenon is made possible mainly by the fragmented and family oriented character of Lebanese politics. The article examines the phenomenon of women leaders in Lebanon, through analyzing the case studies of such women after which it will discuss the importance and significance of this phenomenon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-29
Number of pages25
JournalThe Journal for Interdisciplinary Middle Eastern Studies
StatePublished - 2017


  • Women -- Lebanon
  • Political activity -- Lebanon
  • Druzes -- Lebanon
  • Lebanon
  • Christians -- Lebanon
  • Sunnites -- Lebanon
  • Shiites -- Lebanon
  • Politics and government

IHP Publications

  • ihp
  • Christians -- Lebanon
  • Druzes -- Lebanon
  • Lebanon
  • Lebanon -- Politics and government
  • Shiites -- Lebanon
  • Sunnites -- Lebanon
  • Women -- Lebanon
  • Women -- Political activity
  • דרוזים בלבנון
  • לבנון
  • לבנון -- פוליטיקה וממשל
  • נוצרים בלבנון
  • נשים -- לבנון
  • נשים בפוליטיקה
  • סונים בלבנון
  • שיעים בלבנון


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