Round table for Community Leaders
Seminar entitled “Leading Roles for Women”
Organized by Justice Without Frontiers
Justice Without Frontiers organized a round table entitled “Leading Roles for Women” which included society’s pioneers from different Lebanese parties, religious and scout groups, as well as civil society’s organizations, who have a great impact on a major part of the society.
After the Lebanese anthem, Ms. Josiane Noun, coordinator of “women’s access to justice” project at Justice Without Frontiers, introduced the organization’s work and success stories it implemented during the past six years in terms of raising awareness sessions, number of lawsuits, advocacy campaigns and legal consultations. Ms. Noun stressed that “Lebanese women are capable to work and mark change within its surrounding provided that she is aware of her rights and obligations and believes that she is a main partner on the social, economic and political levels and all levels as well”.
Further, women activist Esq. Manar Zeaitir discussed gender, women’s rights and laws that prevent women to access leadership positions. She added that the main obstacles are related to women themselves because they are obedient to the existent discrimination and the society’s will which automatically prevents them to access leadership positions. Esq. Zeaitir reflected the following problematic: “how can the Lebanese woman have access to leadership positions when the law itself considers her half a citizen after having deprived her from the right to grant her children the nationality”? She then concluded her intervention stating: “no one is born a leader, education since childhood is what makes a human being a successful leader”.
Member Mrs. Vicky Zouein then stated that absent political administrations and sectors are to be blamed for not playing a major role, otherwise they would have been the main supporter of women’s presence and participation in the political field. It is to mention that only seven female ministers took part of the last 74 governments. Mrs. Zouein tackled her career within the municipal council and discussed the obstacles and difficulties she faced just for being a woman, ever since her candidacy period, throughout her electoral process, until taking office within the municipality. She also shared with the audience with enriching expertise and examples of striking events that took place on the life and practical levels.
Last, and before discussions, Mrs. Josiane Khalil, mayor of Zouk Mikael, discussed examples of her rich career and mentioned the main negative and discouraging comments she received ever since she announced her candidacy to become a mayor. However, this did not affect her resoluteness to reach her desired objective. Mrs. Khalil also tackled the difficulties she faced after she became a mayor being the first woman to occupy the mayor position in Zouk Mikael and since the number of female mayors through history is little. She added that she was surprised when she realized that there was no official seal for female mayors. Moreover, she talked about her complex career in order to obtain a seal customized for women issued from the Ministry of Interior so as to mark her sex and distinguish her from men.
Further to different interventions and comments, the round table ended with numerous recommendations that were noted by Justice Without Frontiers so that it implements them as a starting point to reach absolute justice for women in Lebanon.