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A UN workshop in Beirut on women’s political participation


The Lebanese Electoral Assistance Project (LEAP) affiliated to the UNDP organized yesterday a workshop on “Electoral Laws and Women’s Participation”.  The workshop which was attended by a number of women who have presented their candidacy to the next parliamentary elections and representatives of local and international civil society organizations, discussed ways to strengthen women’s participation in political life.
The UNDP Country Director Mr. Luca Renda, emphasized that supporting national efforts for strengthening a comprehensive political process as well as strengthening women’s participation in elections is a key concern on the agenda of the United Nations.  He noted that women’s political participation in Lebanon is limited and does not exceed 3% in parliament as the 2009 elections only resulted in bringing in four women parliamentarians.  This is particularly alarming since globally, women’s representation in parliaments has increased two fold since the year 2000.
On the other hand, the Director General of the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities Elias Khoury noted that a higher number of women submitted their candidacy this year in anticipation of the next parliamentary elections.  According to him, this is proof of increasing awareness amongst Lebanese women on the importance of taking initiative sand resorting to live in the shadow of men as well as seeking to contribute to the nation and to society
The workshop, which was funded by the European Union, included an address by The Political Affairs Officer at UNSCOL Chantal Sarkis, who pointed out to the low global status of Lebanon having recoded a 135th ranking in terms of women’s participation in political life.
Source: Al-Mustaqbal, Al-Akhbar, Al-Nahar 4 July 2013

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