Lebanon’s Economic and Social Council on Wednesday hosted a dialogue session entitled “Women’s Partnership and Engagement in Developing Socio-Economic Vision” with Minister of Interior and Municipalities Rayya El Hassan, Energy and Water Minister, Nada Boustani, Minister of State for Administrative Development Affairs Dr May Chidiac, and Minister of State for Economic Empowerment of Women and Youth, Violette Khairallah Al-Safadi, at the Council’s headquarters in Downtown Beirut.
Partaking in the dialgue session had been Head of the Social and Economic Council, Charles Arbid, in the presence of former ministers Jean Ogassabian and Mona Afeish, Economy Director General Alia Abbas, National News Agency (NNA) Director Laure Sleiman Saab, and Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s Advisor Hazar Caracallah.
Scores of media, economic, social and concerned dignitaries were also present.
Opening up today’s dialogue session, Arbid stressed the role of women in policy-making after bearing out their noteworthy presence in the political, economic and social domains and succeeding in carrying out their full-fledged roles in society and in their leadership positions.
In her delivered word, Minister El Hassan hailed the work of the Council, deeming it as the right platform for devising socio-economic policies.
On her assumption of the Interior Ministry’s portfolio, El Hassan said that one of the top priorities of her work at the Ministry had been the drug dossier, stressing the need for developing a Drug treatment plan.
The Minister disclosed that she is currently working on this dossier in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and other concerned ministries.
El Hassan added that she is working on other dossiers, as part of her priorities, including traffic safety dossier and the election law dossier.
Minister Chidiac, in turn, dwelt on the political representation of women in the country, saying Lebanon has succeeded to a certain extent in breaking the barriers placed on the path of women, taking a step forward by appointing four women ministers in the current government.
Chidiac said the four appointed ministers share one key concern, notably how to advance the country, develop its human resources and modernize its public administration, away from narrow calculations and futile sensitivities.
Chidiac also underlined the paramount importance of the elements of hard work, self-esteem, perseverance and engagement in helping women attain their aspired success and fulfillment.
She also disclosed that the Ministry shall, in the future, link its anti-corruption projects in the public sector with the gender issue and women’s representation, notably with many studies showing that the presence of women in political decision-making posts inevitably reduces cases of corruption.
Minister Al Safadi, for her part, stressed that for women to play an effective role in building the economy and developing society, they must start to be involved in policy making.
On the participation of women in decision-making, Safadi called on “parties to balance the presence of men and women within their leadership ranks.”
Safadi underscored the need to protect the public sector from corruption and simultaneously maintain the development of the private sector. She also underscored the paramount importance of women empowerment, notably rural women.
Minister Boustani, in turn, said that her Ministry is one of the key ministries directly associated with economic and social affairs, saying the electricity dossier had been at the top of her priorities since her assumption of the Ministry’s portfolio.
She added that amongst her priorities of work at the Ministry had been the energy dossier and the water and sewage dossier.
“We have launched a national plan for water, sanitation and sewage treatment and we are cooperating with all the relevant ministries,” she said, adding that this plan shall be soon forwarded to the Council of Ministers, hoping that all would agree on advancing this highly important national plan.
Source: National News Agency