In cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Lebanon, the Faculty of Human Sciences at Beirut Arab University organized a Discussion Panel entitled "Women in Politics: Indonesia and Lebanon as a Model" in Beirut Campus with the participation of the Indonesian MP Ms. Lena Maryana Mukti, Lebanese MP Ms. Paula Yacoubian, and Faculty Dean Professor Mayssah El Nayal, Panel Presenter and Moderator.
The panel was attended by BAU President Professor Amr Galal El-Adawi, faculty deans, BAU Secretary General Dr. Omar Houri, Indonesian Ambassador Ahmad Khazen Khamidi together with the embassy staff, Iraqi Ambassador Ali Al Amiri, Bangladesh Ambassador Abdulmutallab Sarkar, Ambassador of the State of Palestine represented by Mr. Maher Mishael, and representatives of women's associations in Lebanon as well as a crowd of interested audience.
The panel started with the Lebanese and Indonesian Anthems followed by Professor El Nayal’s welcoming speech in which she pointed out that the participation of women in politics will have a significant impact as it will contribute to diffusing their capabilities and helping them achieve more gender equality. "In a world that seeks peace, it is necessary to establish stronger democracies, and democracy is never achieved without utmost equality, which requires the full political participation of women,” El Nayal said.
In his speech, the Indonesian Ambassador thanked BAU President for his contribution and for the panel. He reviewed the developments of the Indonesian women in the political field and stressed that the role of women in Indonesia is an integral part of the history of the country as they participated in and contributed to fighting the colonists for independence. He also assured that, today, nothing prevents women from participating in the political life and that Islam guarantees them equal rights with men in assuming positions of power.
Professor El- Adawi stressed the necessity to free women of all restrictions that hinder the full performance of their roles in the society and in the political life, pointing out BAU’s encouragement of the role of women which is crystal clear in their large and prominent presence at the university at the administrative and educational levels. El-Adawi called for strengthening the role of women more in the political life as this factor is effective in achieving the concept of participation.
MP. Ms. Lena Maryana Mukti gave a presentation in which she explained her experience in the Indonesian political life, pointing to the success of the role of women in Indonesian politics after achieving a 30% quota for women, which prompted the political parties to promote women's involvement and seek to increase their participation in the political life. Thus, a law was enacted and Indonesian women, since then, have held important positions in the country.
Mukti talked about the political work within her party, pointing out that 54 women assume leading positions in the party, which is a very good figure as compared to the past when women were absent from these positions.
MP Ms. Paula Yacoubian said that the annual struggle has a history of race in the Lebanese political life, recalling the roles of Linda Matar and Laure Moghaizel and stressing the inevitability of seeking to achieve quotas for women to correct the historical mistakes against women in Lebanon.
For Yacoubian, the representation of women is no longer a luxury but a necessity to achieve participation. She criticized the serious injustice against the Lebanese women and their role during the recent parliamentary elections in Lebanon. Yacoubian called for the correction of the legacies and the conventional archetypes of the patriarchy according to which some families were raised thus depriving women over time of performing their full roles at all levels.
At the end of the panel, President El-Adawi presented honorary shields to Mukti and Yacoubian and the Indonesian Ambassador presented shields to both guests, as well as BAU President and Faculty Dean.