One of the few countries in the Middle East that has allowed women the right to not only vote but also run for political office is Lebanon, showing a willingness to change with the times. “Lebanese women won the right to vote and to participate in national elections in 1952, 19 years before women in Switzerland” (Khalife, 2009). Although women in Lebanon are allowed the right to vote and hold political office it is still a very male dominated culture, “in fact, only 17 women have served in Lebanons Parliament since suffrage” (Khalife, 2009). One of the major reasons that women’s voices in Lebanon are marginalized is the fact that political parties are focused on sectarian differences. Lebanese politics are unique to the Middle East, with 18 separate political parties being recognized and allowed the right to represent the people. Although Lebanon is not considered free by freedom house, it is one of the few countries in the Middle East that is actively working towards democratic representation of the people.