The Arab Institute for Women

News & Events

2012 Mary Turner Lane Award

The Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World (IWSAW) marked a watershed on November 8, 2012 when it held its very first Mary Turner Lane Award ceremony which recognized winners in a competition for best original paper in the field of gender and women studies.


In the presence of LAU President Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra, winners were announced in two categories: creative/journalistic and research-focused essays.

The awardee in the latter category went to Patil Yessayan, Sawsan Khanafer and Marie Murray whose publication focused on the role of women in Lebanese politics. Leanne Abou Hassan, an undergraduate student at LAU Beirut was the awardee for best personal essay that examined the sociological position of women in the Arab world.

The accolade is named in memory of Mary Turner Lane, who founded the women’s studies program at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. In addition to championing women’s studies at UNC, Mary Turner Lane was interested in Arab women and served in Cairo as a consultant to the Egyptian Ministry of Education from 1978-81. Her daughter, Dr. Mary Ellen Lane established an award for a women’s studies student to honor her late mother’s legacy.

IWSAW intends to continue this tradition annually giving an opportunity to any female LAU student enrolled at the university to partake in the competition.