The Arab Institute for Women

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Launch Ceremony: “Women in Leadership” Project

On October 4, 2023, The AiW at the Lebanese American University (LAU), in partnership with the Government of Canada, UN Women, and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), hosted the launch ceremony of the “Women in Leadership” project. The ceremony, which represented a new milestone for international cooperation, held great significance as it showcased The AiW’s profound commitment to supporting initiatives that advance women’s representation and participation in decision-making positions. 

Through academic, research, and outreach activities, the project aims to encourage the acknowledgement of women leaders’ roles across different fields. To achieve this goal, the project will feature a series of activities, including TEDx talks by female achievers, a book addendum that celebrates pioneering women, a special issue of Al-Raida journal that highlights women’s achievements over the past 50 years, theatrical performances based on feminists’ writings, and an update of the “Who Is She” database that spotlights female trailblazers. This project is indeed crucial to acknowledge women’s unrecognized achievements and entice the next generation to aim for, and eventually reach, leadership roles within their own communities.

The ceremony featured keynote addresses, namely by LAU President, Dr. Michel Mawad; Ambassador of Canada to Lebanon, Ms. Stephanie McCollum; Director of The AiW, Ms. Myriam Sfeir; UN Women Country Representative, Ms. Gielan El Messiri; and UNDP Resident Representative for Lebanon, Ms. Melanie Hauenstein. The collective message of the speakers reiterated the project’s resonating impact, particularly in the promotion of women in decision-making positions. Together, they emphasized that the value of this project extends beyond immediate results, supporting the realization of a sustainable and equitable future for all. Following the conclusion of the ceremony, all four sealed their partnership by signing the agreement. Through an official joining of hands, they marked the beginning of the project’s journey towards realization. 

The launch ceremony was attended by LAU vice presidents, faculty, staff, and students, as well as members from UNDP, UN Women, and the Canadian Embassy.