Housing as a Feminist Cause

If the COVID pandemic has shown us anything over the past year, it is that crises, no matter how global they may be, are not experienced equally by everyone. In times of multiscalar crises of the magnitude currently being experienced in Lebanon, the absence of public policies centered around social justice has made access to basic human rights a privilege for many.

The inaccessibility to formal dispute resolution systems such as the police or law courts add a layer of vulnerability to women in certain communities rather than others. Refugees with no legal residence status, migrant women who flee the atrocious labor conditions under the Kafala system7 and illegally take part in the freelance market, as well as members of the LGBTQ community who are still subject to humiliating and dehumanizing treatment in police stations and under police custody, all face an additional layer of difficulties when it comes to legal procedures.

Women from these communities would have no option to fight arbitrary practices of landlords by filing reports to the police against illegal threats or abusive practices, or by going to court to dispute illegal evictions and eviction threats, as that would put them under the risk of being detained, assaulted, or deported. Members of the above-mentioned communities, already discriminated against in job markets, are often able to access housing only through makeshift living spaces or apartments in degraded, unhealthy, or unsafe  conditions, and that are put out for rent at lower-than-market prices, filling a gap created by the absence of subsidized or social housing programs. 

English | June 30, 2021



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