Lebanese PM under fire for 'sexist comments' on independence

Lebanon PM compares Independence Day to a 'divorced woman celebrating her anniversary'
2 min read
22 November, 2021
Najib Mikati's comments likening Lebanese independence to a divorcee celebrating her wedding were widely perceived as sexist.
The Lebanese Prime Minister attended Independence Day celebrations on Monday [ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty]

Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Mikati has come under fire on Monday for making sexist remarks in relation to his country's 78th Independence Day.

Lebanon’s Independence Day celebrations are akin to a "divorced woman celebrating her wedding anniversary...but let's not forget that if she had remained understanding until her last day in the marriage, she wouldn't be divorced", Mikati told the press after a meeting with President Michel Aoun and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri marking the holiday.

"Understanding, and communication are essential," he added, probably referring to the ongoing lack of cooperation between political factions in Lebanon.

The comments were widely perceived as sexist and attracted immediate backlash on social media.

"Mikati blames divorce on women and uses it as an analogy to settle political scores," one Twitter user said.

But Mikati's misfortunes on social media may be the least of his worries. The cabinet he is supposed to head has not met since 12 October amid a row over the probe into last year's deadly Beirut port blast

On Monday, local media reported that demonstrators had staged a sit-in in front of Mikati's residence in Tripoli to protest deteriorating living conditions and the removal of subsidies on medicine and other essential items.