UN Women Meets The Media In Lebanon For Better Advocacy on Women’s Political Participation

Date: Sunday, February 25, 2018

Within the Campaign “Half the society, half the parliament”, UN Women, WAMLEBANON, and UNDP - LEAP met journalists to discuss media’s role in boosting women’s political participation at the parliamentary elections. Photo credit: UN Women/ Walaa Termos

Beirut, Lebanon - The Office of the Minister of State for Women’s Affairs in Lebanon and UN Women Lebanon, in partnership with the United Nations Development Program- LEAP and the European Union have organized the public event “Meet the media” held at Mövenpick Hotel in Beirut, during which media representatives deliberated on media’s crucial role in boosting women’s political participation, at the upcoming parliamentary elections in Lebanon, on May 2018.

With the overall objective to enhance the role of Lebanese women for effective and meaningful participation in the upcoming political elections, the State Minister for Women’s Affairs in Lebanon Jean Oghassabian, the Special representative of UN Women’s Regional Director in Lebanon, Begona Lasagabaster, UNDP Country Director Celine Moyroud, Rana El-Houjeiri, Portfolio Manager at UN Women, as well as a group of over thirty journalists from broadcast and online media engaged in a fruitful discussion on how can media leverage their role in assisting Lebanese women candidates in presenting their electoral programs

This event comes in the context of the Roadmap for Political Empowerment and Leadership of Women in Lebanon that was launched in Beirut on 17 January 2018 at the conference "Fostering the role of political parties to promote women representation in the upcoming parliamentary elections" under the patronage of Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Within the Campaign “Half the society, half the parliament”, UN Women, WAMLEBANON, and UNDP - LEAP met journalists to discuss media’s role in boosting women’s political participation at the parliamentary elections. Photo credit: UN Women/ Walaa Termos

The Roadmap aims to building the capacity of women leaders, women candidates and voters (male and female) to promote women's representation in politics. It also consists of a broad advocacy campaign including the launch of a media awareness campaign under the theme "Half the society, half the parliament" to promote and support women's participation in politics and advocate for political parties to endorse women candidacy in electoral lists.

The State Minister for Women’s Affairs in Lebanon Jean Oghassabian emphasized on the “important role of media in boosting women’s status quo in Lebanon” adding “any cause would not be properly successful if the media is not accompanying it”. He said that the Office of the Minister of State for Women’s Affairs in Lebanon continues to be engaged in the roadmap to enhance women’s political participation.

The meeting also discussed future collaboration opportunities with UN Women through the Step it Up for Gender Equality Media Compact to scale up focus on women’s rights and gender. Media representatives were encouraged to get it signed by their respective media outlets.

The Special representative of UN Women’s Regional Director in Lebanon, Begona Lasagabaster said that the obstacles that women face across countries that hinder their election, can be summarized in three main areas; the political parties, the funding and the media. “Media can be very helpful and at the same time can be a huge obstacle for women. For us, at UN Women, it is extremely important to have this dialogue with media today to understand what are the issues, the opportunities and the entry points, in which media can be very supportive,” she concluded.