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Women, politics, and violence in Tripoli

18-5-2017

A seminar entitled, ‘women, politics and violence’, was held yesterday at the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Tripoli and the North at the invitation of the office of the Minister of State for Women’s Affairs, Jean Ogassapian, and the Embassy of Chile in Lebanon in the presence of a group of public figures. During the seminar, the Chilean former minister and expert in women’s affairs, Carmen Andrade, stated that “the presence of women in senior state positions, whether presidency of the republic or parliament presidency or in various political posts, remains limited”, and reflected on the main barriers that impede the effective participation of women. She added by saying “Some electoral systems are harmful to women, and do not provide them with opportunities to run for elections or to vote directly for their own interests. Among the electoral systems that best ensure representation of women, [she maintained], is the proportional representation (PR) system which guarantees the soundest requisites and circumstances towards ensuring victory of new groups, such as women and the youth.” The seminar included two working sessions: the first entitled ‘women in politics’, and was moderated by Dr. Ruba Dalati who examined the rate of women’s participation in the legislative branch of government in a number of Arab states, drawing attention to the low participation of women in governments, and adding that “ [women’s] participation is still linked to ministries that are considered traditionally as women’s specialties”. The second session entitled, ‘combating violence against women’, and moderated by Shaza Asaad, who pointed out forms of discrimination between men and women and causes of such discrimination which lead only to violence whether physical, mental or emotional that Lebanese women in general have to put up with. Asaad appealed to the Lebanese public to take action in this direction, urging the government and PM Saad Hariri to ensure equity for women and to contribute towards strengthening women’s role in the advancement of society. (Al Mustaqbal, Al Diyar, May 18, 2017)

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