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Organizational Needs to Promote Women’s Participation in Political Parties and Trade Unions in Lebanon

Publisher: RDFL
Author: RDFL
Type: Report
Date: October 2014
Location in CRTDA: New Publications

This study, conducted by Ghassan Sleibi and Saada Allaw, represented one of the outputs of the regional project entitled "Promotion of the Role of Political Parties and Trade Unions in Enhancing Women's Political Participation" which is implemented in five countries and is financed by the European Union and managed by Oxfam Novib.
The study was divided into two parts, where the first addressed the level of participation of women in political parties based on a closer look at six parties namely Syrian Social Nationalist Party, the Phalange Party (Kata2eb), the Progressive Socialist Party, Hezbollah, the Lebanese Communist Party and the Future Movement.  The study noted that none of these parties adopted a women quota, while 33% refused it and 16.6% only presented women for elections. This part of the study noted also the negative impact of the confessional system on women’s political participation. The second part of the study focused on trade unions through studying those sectoral trade unions with high women participation namely MEA, The Tobacco and Tombac directorate, the NSSF, Bank employees in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, private school teachers, OGERO, bank employees in North Lebanon, and the Beirut and Mount Lebanon water authority.  This part of the study showed that women’s enrolment compared to men, in 6 of the 8 selected trade unions, reached 40% and 75%, while it did not exceed 11% in the water authority, but reached 20% for OGERO. Commenting on the above data, the study concluded that enrolment of women in trade unions reflects the level of economic participation in the whole sector.
Finally, the study made several recommendations for political parties to support the participation of women while highlighting the need of women partisans to support women’s issues in political parties.  The study also proposed the creation of women committees within trade unions to strengthen their participation and called for the adoption of a gender policy and women quota for elections in the trade unions steering committees.

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