Leadership and Political Participation Classes Motivate and Inspire Lebanese Women to Claim Equal Citizenship

Posted on 11 January 2013 by

Lebanon Graduation

Women graduate from leadership courses in Lebanon take on front roles in stepping up the Claiming Equal Citizenship Campaign in 2013

Lina Abou-Habib

CRTD.A / WLP-Lebanon

6 January 2012

During the past year, CRTD.A engaged in a series of Leadership and Political Participation training targeting Lebanese women married to non-nationals and who suffer from the discriminatory nationality laws in Lebanon which do not allow Lebanese women to transmit their nationality to their families.  The training series which was based on the Women learning Partnership curriculum and methodology aimed at supporting women to play a leading and public role in the Campaign and thus empower them to mobilise their own communities and constituencies.

The training was stepped up in anticipation of the upcoming legislative elections in 2013.  CRTD.A was also motivated by two main achievements of the Nationality Campaign in 2012, namely the setting up of a Ministerial Commission to review the nationality law (21 March 2012) and the submission of a new law petition by the National Commission for Lebanese Women.  Whilst these two developments were considered to be major turning points for the Campaign, the key concern was to build on this momentum and ensure that both the Ministerial Commission and the National Commission for Lebanese Women are held accountable to pursuing the process satisfactorily.

Gearing up towards 2013 required stepping up the dispositions, skills and leadership role of women involved in the Campaign.  The series of Leading to Choices and Leading to Action training was concluded on January 4th 2012 when the women leaders graduated from the Leadership Training of Trainers courses during a public event which attracted significant media coverage as it included, along with the graduation ceremony, a critical review of the progress of the Campaign in 2012 and a collective development of an advocacy strategy for 2013.   Graduates from the Leadership courses spoke in public about how the training workshops “motivated them, inspired them, made them realise that they are the leaders of the campaign and are responsible for making their voices heard”.  The General Assembly was concluded on a high note with the election of a working group of graduates in each region.  The Assembly agreed on a series of steps to be implemented in 2013 focusing essentially on identifying and lobbying candidate of the 2013 and campaigning for voting only for those who support the reform of the discriminatory nationality law.  The Assembly also agreed to widen the outreach of the campaign through stepping up contacts and alliance building in all parts of Lebanon.  Individual lobbying of the individual members of the Ministerial Commission was also endorsed as a key focus for 2013.

The activities of the Claiming Equal Citizenship have always succeeded in attracting significant media interest and coverage.  This time, the media interest was even higher.  Representatives of major TV stations, newspapers, online media and radio stations accompanied the whole event which lasted five hours!  In addition to covering the highlights of the event, the media interviewed several of the graduates and noted their enthusiasm and commitment to demand their rights and to approach politicians and citizens directly.

This event was quite special and a turning point in the life of the Claiming Equal Citizenship Campaign.  In addition to being a key moment for gathering forces for 2013, it was also quite revealing in highlighting the impact of the leadership and political participation training on the lives and public actions of women.

For further reading and media coverage of the event please see the links below:

TV coverage: http://www.lbcgroup.tv/news/67692/جنسيتي-حق-لي-و-لاسرتي2013-عام-للتصعيد



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