By Dana Khraiche
The Daily StarBEIRUT: Parliamentary committees received Tuesday three proposed draft laws on improving the condition of women in the workplace.
The first draft law calls for the amendment of article 28 and 29 of the labor law to increase maternity leave from seven weeks to 10 weeks. The second bill seeks to boost the health benefits of women in public administrative jobs. The third seeks to amend the law governing social security so that women can cover their children under social security.
Contrary to other draft laws that focus on women and have caused controversy, such as the proposed law to protect women from domestic violence, the chances of the present bills being voted in are very good.
“There is no disagreement regarding these proposed laws as they are simply natural rights for women that had been delayed,” head of the human rights parliamentary committee MP Michel Moussa told The Daily Star.
Moussa, along with the head of the woman and child parliamentary committee Gilberte Zouein presented the draft laws to the committees in the hope of gaining a majority of votes for the laws to pass in Parliament.
The draft law related to domestic violence was met with mixed reactions, especially from Muslim religious leaders who see the law, if implemented, as a blow to family values.
However, lawmakers such as Moussa are hoping the law will pass, but with minor changes in order to eliminate any clause that might “harm” religion.
Moussa also said that Lebanon was bound by international treaties to implement laws that better the status of women in the workplace and society.
“[These issues] follow the Lebanese constitution, which in its introduction talks about equality between men and women, equality between everyone in the country. It also follows the treaty that Lebanon signed in order to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and this it is part of international human rights,” Moussa said after meeting with Zwein.