TLS Students Galvanize Women’s Political Empowerment and Participation
Majoring in Political Science and International Affairs, TLS students Karen Sweid and Rawan Haidar chose to address the topic of women’s limited political participation in Lebanon, a talking point considered as a key indicator of gender equality, alongside economic and social empowerment.
Long treated as second-class citizens, Lebanese women have finally shown boldly in the revolution that has shaken Lebanon since October 2019. A good starting point reflect Sweid and Haidar, but not enough. To instill concrete and substantial change, women need to move beyond informal revolutionary politics to formal electoral and party politics with meaningful and substantive representation.
To guarantee a good research paper, Sweid and Haidar based their study on the pre-existing literature as a foundation of the research. Afterward, they analyzed the documents by looking at reliable sources such as Gender Inequality Index (GII) and the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) initiated by the United Nations. These databases have paved the way for the research and proved to them that the research questions and arguments are valid and researchable.
Whether it is at the workplace, at home, at school, or in the media, to promote equality, women are needed in the top decision-making process. So MEPI TLS fall course and class discussions highlighted the significance of women at the table of decision making. However, to get to this point, civil societies and grass-root movements need to move and revolt. This is exactly what Karen and Rawan focused on. Using the role of women in the Lebanese revolution, the examples of feminists in the fight for equality, and the synthesis of existing literature underscored the power of the bottom-up fight for gender equality. The Spring course on gender equality Politics will provide students with negotiations and conflict resolution skills and tools to empower TLS students in their transformative change.
Leaders like Karen and Rawan will work hard in any field they choose in the future to advocate and work to advocate, and to reform policies that promote equality.
“TLS has given us the awareness we need. We consider ourselves privileged to be part of this program, and we are willing to reflect on the knowledge we have gained from TLS courses, webinars, and workshops on our society[…] We are looking forward to developing our findings and complementing our research by amplifying its dimensions.” Affirm Sweid and Haidar.