For the first time in history, Lebanon has four female ministers serving in the cabinet - one of them being the first female interior minister in the whole Arab region. Although the small country still has a long way to reach full gender equality, this is phenomenal news for all Lebanese and Arab women in the Middle East.
Gigantic goals aren’t attained overnight, but this occurrence will trail-blaze the way for the rest, and we are sure these women will live up to the expectations, and more. Meet the outstanding ladies that are representing major ministries, and find out about their educational and career backgrounds:
Raya Haffar Al Hassan, Minister of Interior Affairs and Municipalities
First woman in the Middle East to be appointed Minister of Interior Affairs, Raya Haffar Al Hassan graduated from the American University of Beirut with a degree in Business Administration. She pursed her graduate studies in Finance and Investment at George Washington University. This is not her first time in the cabinet, as she has previously served as Minister of Finance from 2009 to 2011.
Violette Khairallah Safadi, Minister of State for Social and Economic Rehabilitation for Women and Youth
Previously working in the media and business fields, and the host of her own national show, Violette Khairallah Safadi graduated from Notre Dame University with a bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration. She later on earned an executive certificate from Harvard Kennedy School in Public Leadership with emphasis on negotiation and decision making. Khairallah-Safadi is also the founder of “Indeed Better Together”, an organization that aims to better the lives of those in need, mainly Syrian refugees, in terms of psychological and physical aid.
Nada Boustani Khoury, Minister of Energy and Water
The youngest minister in the Lebanese cabinet, Nada Boustani Khoury was previously an advisor to the ministry of water and energy before taking leadership of it this year. She holds a master’s degree from ESCP Europe in Management, and has worked in strategy making at many international conglomerates before returning to Lebanon.
May Chidiac, Minister of State for Administrative Affairs and Development
May Chidiac is a prominent name in the journalism and broadcasting industry in Lebanon. She holds a PhD in Communication Sciences from Panthéon-Assas University Paris II. The minster is also a published author, and the receiver of many awards and prizes throughout her life, including the esteemed “Courage in Journalism” award from the International Women’s Media Foundation.