“Alla Ysa’Eda”… Ma Betsa’Eda: (Which Reads: Saying “God Helps Her”, Does Not Help Her)
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign 2013
Press release | Beirut, December 2, 2013
“Alla Ysa’eda…” (may God Helps Her)Is a sentence we often hear that reflects a very common sentiment in Lebanon. We frequently hear and see violence against women happening in our country, in our neighborhood, in our media, and in our own families regardless of our social status, nationality or sect. Yet, we tend to distance ourselves from the problem maybe because of a collective feeling that there is nothing that we can do. Moreover, since addressing the issue of violence against women is still considered a taboo in our context, we respond to it with passivity; we place its burden on some higher power expecting God to exert actions, saying “Allah ysa’eda” (may God Helps Her). We have become so passive to the extent that violence in Lebanon has become normalized!
Currently, we in Lebanon find ourselves in a position where we have no cabinet, an inactive parliament, with politicians who are more concerned with regional politics than with social problems that are affecting the daily lives of its citizens; such that violence against women is not considered a priority. The rationale behind this might be that issues relating to violence are wrongly regarded as ‘just women’s issue’ when they are in fact one of the most important societal concerns, for women and men alike. This issue is a pressing matter of public health, human rights, and social justice. And since we can no longer rely on the institutions that we are supposed to rely on to address these issues; It becomes paramount to be proactive in addressing this issue ourselves.
This year, for the international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign, ABAAD- -Resource Center for Gender Equality is launching the nationwide “Alla Ysa’eda, Ma Betsa’eda” campaign (“God Helps Her”, Does not Help Her). This campaign is a call for action to combat violence against women. We are all concerned and we cannot allow silence to define us. We can no longer afford to sit by idly while this violence continues. All of us are responsible for, and capable of, creating a society that is free of violence. We can use our personal talents and skills to combat this problem. If you’re a teacher, you can discuss it in the classroom. If you are a musician, compose a song about it. If you’re on social media, voice your opinion through posts, shares and comments. Everyone can take part in non-violent protests, to educate ourselves and those around us, and speak up when we witness Violence Against Women in our surroundings. Just as several ripples can create a wave, each individual action can create a movement. We are a strong people who can stand in solidarity and end the social disease of Violence Against Women in our country. Together we can build a society where the rights of all are respected and injustice is not tolerated.
Now is the time. We are all agents of positive change. In this context Ms. Ghida Anani, the executive director of ABAAD, states that “it is no longer acceptable to give in for exclusive solution in addressing violence against women in Lebanon, we should also always remember that this is a systematic issue with multiple approaches to solve and it starts with individual initiatives in attending to and combating any form of violence that women face in our societies.”
The 3 TV commercials portrays three situations in which Lebanese men and women witness violence against women in their everyday life and immediate surroundings, however the overwhelming feelings of perceived helplessness leads them to simply say “Allah Ysa’eeda” (may God Help Her)and carry on with their lives.
The campaign is composed of TV and radio commercials in addition to street billboards and unipoles distributed all over Lebanon. The campaign will be rounded off on the 18th of December in a whole day activity that is hosted in Metropolis Empire Sofil.
The campaign is being launched in partnership with the: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation –SDC, International Medical Corps – IMC, OXFAM, World Vision, Save the Children, International Rescue Committee – IRC, Norwegian Embassy, Forum for Development, Culture and Dialogue –FDCD, Norwegian People’s Aid, Committee for the Follow-up on Women’s Issues, Palestinian Women Humanitarian Organization, General Union of Palestinian Women and the Lebanese Council To Resist Violence Against Women.
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