Lebanon - Personal Status Law of the Catholic Sects, 1949 - Equality Now

Lebanon - Personal Status Law of the Catholic Sects, 1949

  • Country: Lebanon
  • Law status: Discriminatory law in force
  • Law Type: Marriage, Divorce, Polygamy & Wife Obedience

Sex discrimination in marital status laws renders women and girls subordinate in many aspects of family relations before, during and after marriage.

Laws which give preferential right of custody or guardianship over children to the father over the mother discriminate against women and are based on a sex stereotype which views men as superior to women. These laws also limit a mother’s ability to make decisions about the upbringing of her own child.

The Law:

Articles 123, 124 and 125 of Lebanon’s Personal Status Law of the Catholic Sects, 1949 provide that the rights and duties of parental authority (apart from breastfeeding) are confined to the father, and that a mother loses custody of her child upon re-marriage while the same restriction does not apply to the father.

Article 123: Breastfeeding concerns the mother. The other rights and duties of the parental authority are, in principle, confined to the father. These rights and duties are passed to the mother if the father is deprived from these responsibilities provided that the mother is proved to be eligible by the court and the court provides the mother a notice about the transfer of these responsibilities to her.

Article 124: The duration of breastfeeding is two years.

Article 125: A mother loses custody of her child for the following:
A: if she is recalcitrant, or behaving badly
B: if she is not capable of raising and rearing her child
C: if she caused the lack of joint marital life
D:if she changes her religion, or changes her Catholic sect
E: if she remarries after the dissolution of the marriage, or the death of her husband.

Note: Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lebanon: All Lebanese are equal before the law. They equally enjoy civil and political rights and equally are bound by public obligations and duties without any distinction.

Link to full law

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