FEMALES LEAD IN POLITICS
Ideal meeting place for women in Lebanon to network and exchange ideas about the challenges and opportunities in the field.
In partnership with AFAAL (a decentralized, cooperative, and democratic platform for citizen engagement in public issues), FNF Beirut has recently launched the initiative FLIP – an acronym that stands for “Females Lead In Politics” – to prepare liberal minded women for successful leadership in politics.
In the context of the MENA region, Lebanon has been considered a pioneer when it comes to women’s rights, but its pathway to achieving gender equality remains a long and arduous one. In this regard, women’s involvement and participation in politics is a case in point. In the recent 2018 parliamentary elections, only 14% of the candidates running for elections were women. Adding to the gender struggle, Lebanon’s power-sharing system based on sectarianism, coupled with the clientelist networks operating in the country, constitute a huge struggle that prevents independent and non-partisan female figures from entering the political scene.
This is where FLIP comes in: through a series of technical and preparatory workshops and a power skills boot camp, the program aims to help aspiring liberal female politicians acquire a solid skillset as well as the needed tools to kick-start their political journey. It aims to become the ideal meeting place for women in Lebanon to network and exchange ideas about the challenges and opportunities in the field. In addition, participants would grasp how to deal with the barriers that they might face in their political trajectory and receive a proper capacity-building training.
The series of workshop started online and focused on understanding the electoral law, tips for effective messages of campaign messages, negotiating and debating, and dealing with gender mainstreaming. The boot camp took place in September and consisted of training sessions on public speaking, leadership, campaigning and fundraising, and crisis management. As part of the final assignment, participants prepared a 1-min speech about one specific cause they would work on during their political campaign.
The success of the program was particularly highlighted in the feedback and evaluation form in which the participants highly praised the sessions and requested a follow-up boot camp to build on the skills that they have been acquiring.