Crowds lined the streets of Beirut as a women’s marathon snaked its way through the city this week.
Women from all walks of life – the handicapped, the young and the elderly – participated in the event aimed at empowering women through sports and geared towards reminding women that health is vital.
A number of men also joined in the campaign which ran under the slogan “Run forward, there is no going back.”
“We are doing this, to increase awareness that there is no difference between a man and a woman. This marathon is to highlight this issue,” said one of the organizers to Al Arabiya News Channel.
One man who attended the event told Al Arabiya News Channel that “we are with women, if women are happy then we are happy to. We want to satisfy them.”
Some women saw the marathon as a reminder that they should take care of their health.
One participant told Al Arabiya News Channel: “All women should practice sport, for their health, heart, better blood circulation and to stay young.”
This is the second year the women’s marathon has taken place in the city and it is part of a wider movement in which Lebanese women find increasingly creative ways to promote their rights.
In early 2013, dozens of Lebanese women danced in front of the home of the country’s parliament speaker, Nabih Berri, to send a clear message of urgency to pass a law that looked to protect women from domestic violence.
The women were successful in pressuring the government to pass the law.
However, Human Rights Watch said the domestic violence law Lebanon’s parliament passed on April 1 should advance women’s rights and safety, but falls short in key areas.
It said the new law establishes important protectionist measures and related policing and court reforms, but leaves women at risk of marital rape and other abuse.