th, the Lebanese Organization of Studies and Training and their implementing partner Konrad Adeuneur Stiflung (KAS) representatives Hana Nasser and Peter Rimmele gathered in Tamooz Hall in Baalbek for a Conference to discuss the Advancement of Women In Politics. The participants of the Project "Promoting Women's Role in Political Participation in Baalbek" were joined by Governor of Baalbek-Hermel Bashir Khodr, former Minister Wafaa el Dika Hamze, General Security Major, Ghayes Zaiter, Pastor of the Greek Melkite Catholic Archbishop, Elias Rahhal and other community activists.
Dr. Ramy Lakkis, founder and President of LOST said, "This workshop is for the participants to voice their opinions about what stops them from political participation and what we can do to mend these obstacles."
It is the right of every citizen, man and women to participate in community and in politics. The participation of women in politics develops the country and aids in mending the community.
Khodr said, "Despite the shortcomings of our government, the republic of Lebanon was one of the first republics to give women suffrage rights in 1952. In Switzerland women didn’t gain the right to vote until 1972."
But the Lebanese women are not taking advantage of that right even though the number of women makes up half the community. This patriarchal community.
"I think it's time to change that," Khodr said.
The inherited mindset that women are less then men and shouldn’t belong in a man's world is wrong.
Khodr said, "It's our duty to encourage women to participate in all political and community endeavors."
Rahhal, the pastor said, "There shouldn’t be difference between religions or between genders. We need to build bridges with great communication skills to change the landscape and transform the problems of our country into positive solutions."
Peter Rimmele, the German resident representative for KAS and head of the rule of law program in the Middle East said that Lebanon is one of the leading Arab countries in the scope of media, education, arts, and business. But in politics the role of women is not reaching fair standard. There are only 4 women in the 128 seats in parliament; this ratio does not represent the population of Lebanon.
Lawyer Manar Zaiter, municipality member of Bednayel Inaya Sleiman and participant Kinda Abdel Sater made a group and spoke about the reality of the participation of women in Baalbek-Hermel.