Lebanese American University


LAU and MEPI launch program to advance women’s rights advocacy in the Gulf

LAU’s School of Arts and Sciences received funds September 30 by MEPI to implement the Young Women Leaders program.

Dr. Imad Salamey, Young Women Leaders program director.

LAU’s School of Arts and Sciences was awarded $500,000 September 30 by the U.S. Middle East Partnership Initiative to implement a two-year program aiming to empower women’s rights advocates in the Gulf.

The project, entitled Young Women Leaders, will include two-week summer programs, during which participants ages 20 to 50 from four Gulf countries will spend time at various LAU institutes—Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World, Institute of Diplomacy and Conflict Transformation, and Institute for Peace and Justice Education—to learn, through training and networking, new skills for promoting women’s issues.

“We have the multidisciplinary ability to educate and build the capacities of women and men in a variety of aspects. We have the needed infrastructure,” said Dr. Imad Salamey, program director and assistant professor of political science.

The recruiting process will be done in two stages. First, partnerships will be established with institutions from various Gulf countries. Next, members from these partner organizations will be chosen.

“All selected participants must be active in women’s rights … in the media, education or politics, and have a real interest in advocating … [them] in their respective countries,” Salamey said.

Though the program focuses on women’s issues, men are strongly encouraged to take part. All those recruited must be native Arabic speakers and have a working knowledge of English.

In between the summer programs, the participants will be asked to develop projects that will be implemented in their countries. The outcome of these projects will then be discussed during the second summer session.

LAU has previously worked on two other MEPI projects: Emerging Leadership in Arab Countries and the LAU-Michigan State University partnership project which trains female secondary-school teachers in the use of technology in education and learning.

“Through the years, and specifically on the two past MEPI projects, LAU has demonstrated effectiveness in program delivery,” said Salamey. “This was a great incentive for MEPI to choose us yet again for a third project,” he added.


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