Tomorrow’s Leaders Program

Success Stories

Melissa Feghali Takes the Lead on Gender Parity at an International Level

Having no prior knowledge on gender equality and fair gender representation, Melissa Feghali – currently LAU-MEPI TLS alumna- decided to apply for the TLS program “out of curiosity” to learn more about the world of gender and define gender loopholes and see if they do “really” exist. Once a TLS student, Feghali started to get acquainted with gender-biased terminologies and gender-based defects that are ruling the Arab world. The TLS program was an eye-opener for Feghali who started to discern and detect gender imparity in her daily life; being a bioinformatics student, she used to hear a lot of criticism about women’s inabilities and incompetency to fit in a scientific major; since sexism is normalized in the Arab culture, she didn’t feel offended before, not until she joined the TLS program. And so the journey began: During her year spent in the program, Feghali was able to expand her learning abilities from simple and basic concepts such as what it truly means to be a feminist, what is toxic masculinity, and what does patriarchy mean, to more complex and essential gender-based awareness such as the importance of fair representation at the decision-making table, the role of women in peace and security and the different ways in which someone can be part of gender activism.  After successfully completing a year at TLS, Feghali decided to stand up for women’s rights and applied for the Youth Representative position at the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), a role that will enable her to present the WOSM in discussions, events and conferences on gender equality and the role of youth in fighting all forms of discrimination.  Being well equipped with a professional gender equality capacity assessment that the program offered her, Feghali was selected to fill this position out of hundred other applicants. “If it wasn’t for the MEPI TLS Program that I was part of in the academic year 2020-2021, I would not have even considered applying to this role or even tried to take part in gender advocacy or representation. Thus why, I wanted to take this opportunity to attribute this achievement to the MEPI TLS program and team, for all the knowledge, motivation, and continuous support I could get that empowered me to take the gender mainstreaming mission to the international level”. Concluded Feghali