Nadyn Jouny

The personal is political - and fiery and courageous Nadyn Jouny personified this feminist mantra. Nadyn experienced firsthand the pain of structural violence in legal systems that strip women of their rights.

When she decided to file for divorce, the religious Shitte courts under the Lebanese Personal Status laws, denied her custody of her young son Karam. Nadyn, like so many other women across Lebanon and other countries, was caught in the impossible pain of leaving an unwanted and abusive relationship and also losing the rights to her child. But Nadyn fought back, as she would until her last day.

She used her media savvy to become an outspoken voice to women fighting discriminatory family laws in Lebanon and internationally. Nadyn co-founded the self-funded group, “Protecting Lebanese Women” (PLW) and banded with many other Lebanese mothers facing similar custody issues. Together, they advocated to raise awareness of the injustices they were facing, protesting in front of the religious courts for their rights and bringing international media attention to extreme injustices they were facing.    

Nadyn also worked with ABAAD - Resource Center for Gender Equality, another women’s rights organization in Lebanon, to campaign for women’s rights, equality in family law and custody and against forced and early marriages.

For many of her colleagues, she came to “symbolize a Lebanese mother’s fight against suppression and misogyny of all sorts," using “her personal experiences and her individual journey of empowerment to give hope to others that they can be a catalyst for positive change.”- ABAAD - Resource Centre for Gender Equality, Lebanon

On October 6, 2019 Nadyn was tragically killed in a car accident on her way to protest unfair tax increases in a country already facing spiralling financial crisis. Nadyn Jouny was only 29 years old at the time of her death.