Lebanese hold candle-lit vigil for murdered women

Organisers deplored a lack of “legal, social and political systems” to address “systemic” violence against women

Image Credit: AFP

Lebanese activists take part in a candle vigil to raise awareness over violence against women, outside Beirut’s National Museum on December 23, 2017. Dozens of people demonstrated in Beirut and lit candles to mourn the lives of four women, including a British citizen, who were all killed in Lebanon in various incidents in just one week. / AFP / ANWAR AMRO

Beirut: Dozens of people gathered with candles on Saturday in Beirut to denounce violence against women after at least three were murdered in Lebanon in less than a week.

The victims included British embassy worker Rebecca Dykes, whom an Uber driver admitted to killing after he tried to sexually assault her last week.

Days before, a 22-year-old was found shot in the chest and her husband was detained, vigil organisers said.

Also during the same week, a woman’s son-in-law was held in custody after she was found killed.

A 15-year-old girl was also said to have committed suicide during the week.

In a Facebook post before Saturday’s event, organisers deplored a lack of “legal, social and political systems” to address what they called “systemic” violence against women, from harassment to murder.

“We reject the normalisation of violence against women and justifying it as separate incidents at a time where it’s clearly a structural and systemic violence that haunts us in private and public spaces,” they said.

They called for “tangible and effective actions” to respect women’s boundaries and bodies.

In 2014, Lebanon passed a law making domestic violence a criminal offence, after a years-long campaign by civil society groups.

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