- Ever since its establishment, Hezbollah has been constructing a Shiite “mini-state” among the Shiite community in Lebanon, which caters for the needs of Shiite inhabitants in all spheres of life. For this purpose, Hezbollah, with massive Iranian support, is engaged in establishing a civilian system, which operates alongside its military infrastructure. This civilian system is engaged in the spheres of education, culture, health, welfare, finance, sports, construction, agriculture, media, and more.
- The social institutions which were established by Hezbollah over many years provide Shiite residents with a wide variety of services of the sort which is usually provided by the state, while taking advantage of the weakness of the Lebanese central government and the long-time neglect of the Shiite community (mainly in southern Lebanon). Hezbollah’s extensive civilian activity is designed to create among the Shiites in Lebanon a “resistance society” which believes in the ideology of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and is committed to supporting Hezbollah in its struggle against Israel.
The Women’s Organizations Unit is the main institution in Hezbollah taking care of the women’s sector. The unit is subordinate to Hezbollah’s Executive Council. Its purpose is to inculcate Shiite Islam and the Iranian worldview in the women and strengthen, though them, the support of Hezbollah and its hegemony in Shiite society. Hezbollah attaches special importance to women’s role in raising a younger generation imbued with Hezbollah’s ideology and supporting their husbands who enlist in Hezbollah. This is the background for the women’s indoctrination in various forums (classes, courses, workshops and summer camps) where they are instructed in a variety of topics. For example: How to raise children on Hezbollah’s ideology; How is it possible to function as a shahid’s mother or wife; How to fulfill the role of both mother and father if the husband dies. All this is designed to provide Hezbollah’s fighters, who are considered as potential shahids, with peace of mind knowing that if they are killed in battle, their families will continue to function properly. However, Hezbollah refrains from recruiting women for fighting. Instead, they mainly attend to their family duties and provide assistance to their husbands serving in the ranks of Hezbollah.
Group ceremony of girls coming of age at the Al-Mahdi schools in Mashghara, Kafr Fila and Al-Ahmadiyah. A total of 88 girls coming of age from these schools took part in the ceremony (Facebook page of the Al-Mahdi school in Mashghara, February 20-24, 2019). The girl in the middle is holding a photo of a shahid.
Left: Operative of Hezbollah’s military wing holding a sign that reads, “Forgive me” (asking for his mother’s forgiveness because he may not return from battle) (Facebook). Right: Operatives of the military wing comforting a shahid’s mother (Facebook)
Structure of the study
- The study includes the following sections:
- Shiite Islamic religious law foundation for the activity of the Women’s Organizations Unit
- Designation, leadership and structure of the Women’s Organizations Unit
- Characteristics of the activity of the Women’s Organizations Unit
- Values inculcated by the Women’s Organizations Unit
- Parallel women’s organizations in Iranian Shiite proxies in the Arab world
- Appendix: The ITIC’s publications on Hezbollah’s civilian infrastructure
 Sheikh Naim Qassem, Hassan Nasrallah’s deputy, described Hezbollah’s social concept as follows: “Resistance, on our part, is a social worldview with all its aspects: military, cultural, political, and media-related resistance” (Naim Qassem, “Resistance Society: The Will of Shahada and the Creation of Victory,” Dar Al-Maaref al-Hikmiyah, 2008, p. 8). ↑
 The Women's Organizations – Al-Hay’at al-Nisa’iyyah in Arabic. ↑