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Preparing an Advocacy Campaign to Improve Maternity Leave Laws in Lebanon
 
What we wanted

To unify and cement maternal leave laws for private and public sectors

To utilize the Maternity and Sickness Fund to pay for maternity leave

To augment the duration of maternal leave in Lebanon
How we did it

Based on the achievements of a previous DCA (DanChurchAid) project, supported by Kvinfo and implemented by PCDD as a consultant, DCA
decided to follow-up a new project aimed at preparing an Advocacy Campaign to improve maternity leave laws in Lebanon.

The Lebanese women strongly demanded the unification of the maternity leave within all the various sectors within the country; for the maternity leave as it stood before the advocacy campaign was offered as follows: the public sector offered 2 months, the private sector offered 49 days and the education sector offered 2 months and a half. It is worth noting that weekends and holidays were counted as leave days within these various periods.
Furthermore, there was a strong demand that the maternity leave be paid by "The Maternity and Sickness Fund" and not by the employer, who in many cases decreased the number of leave days or the money paid for the woman throughout the duration of her maternity leave. The participants organized an advocacy campaign, and consequently had to carry out an in-depth comparison study between the laws practiced in neighboring countries as well as the ones decreed
by international agreements. In addition, numerous interviews were organized with various officials and the issue was discussed with the working women to make them aware of their rights.
Participants are all smiles in
Copenhagen!
A public opinion poll among pregnant working women was also conducted regarding what they considered to be the most suitable solution for this problem.
Accomplishments
In a meeting on May 16, 2011, the legal and judicial parliamentarian committees voted to increase maternity pay to 100 percent of the mother's salary, from the current two thirds of pay, and to standardize the period of maternity leave to 10 weeks; a great achievement for all women rights activists!