Tomorrow’s Leaders Program

Success Stories

TLS Students Draw Affirmative Actions for LGBTQ+ Communities in the Labor Force

Among the long list of Gender Equality issues TLS students Taline Abou Jaoude, Rouba Zouhairy, Tala Alayli, George Mouawad, and Jean Ghawche chose to address the most challenging taboo: LGBTQ and Capitalism Trans people in the Lebanese Labor Force.

The team’s research paper aims at depicting the struggle trans people and the LGBTQ+ community endure in the face of a country that is still intolerant legally and socially towards them and linking the root of the problem to the country’s economic system-capitalism.

Rolling out with the project was not an easy task. Given the sensitivity of the topic, the team encountered restrictions in information and data gathering due to the limited number of research centers and NGOs that discuss LGBTQ+ people in Lebanon, specifically trans people in the Lebanese Labor force. Still, the team based their study on solid ground: firstly they drew a road map with the help of their faculty advisor, then they gathered data from different sources: LAU online database, UN sources, testimonies, case studies, and interviews that led to a comprehensive succinct research paper and allowed the team to draw initial solutions to the problem.

Gender equality is not about men, it is not about women, it is about equality and human rights. MEPI TLS students read, listened, and discussed many controversial topics to include the perceptions, acceptance, and respect of all sexual orientations to include the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. NO doubt, some conversations were tense raveling the deep-seated cultural stigmas.  Irrespective, with the unwavering support of the faculty, TLS students Taline, Rouba, Tala, George, and Jean decided to challenge taboos and to underscore the complexity of tackling discrimination against this community.  What gave their research a special niche is their focus on capitalism representing the exploitation and marginalization of the LGBTQ+ community.   Accordingly, they offered incremental policy recommendations to promote equality and human rights.  In addition to the spring courses, workshops, and webinars will also add knowledge and skills, which students can use to become empowered future leaders.

« The experience we had in the TLS program was unique. Since we all come from different backgrounds, socially and academically, the opportunity to be a part of this program was extremely beneficial on so many different levels. Some of us would not have had the chance to explore these topics and fields in our respective majors, thus, steering away from that and engaging in something we all are very passionate about and hold as a moral value everyone should be enlightened on was refreshing. »