UNIFIL trains elected women municipal members on public affairs

Dr Halima al-Kaakour discusses proposal writing at the UNIFIL-supported training empowering newly elected women in municipalities.

Trainer Amina Safi Eddine Nisr, goes through presentation skills with the participants.

Training participant, Khadija Kerawni, elected to the municipality of Tayr Debba, in a community meeting.

Training participant, Rola Ajami, elected to the municipality of Abbasieyh, presents her ideas at a municipality meeting.

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27 Feb 2017

UNIFIL trains elected women municipal members on public affairs

A UNIFIL-supported training that sought to empower elected women officials in municipalities in the UN Mission’s area of operation in south Lebanon concluded last week.  About a dozen women representatives from UNIFIL’s area of operation in south-western Lebanon received the training, which started in late November 2016, on various skills, including proposal writing and public speaking. 

“We actually implemented this project in line with our mandate in accordance with the Security Council resolution 1701 to provide support to local authorities and also in line with the Security Council resolution 1325 on the role of women in peacekeeping operations,” said Fatine Lemachatti, a UNIFIL civil affairs officer involved in organizing the training.  Ms. Lemachatti added that the training provided the women representatives with technical skills in public speaking and drafting project proposals. Out of the ten sessions over the course of the training, the last four were field-based, in which the women representatives learned to incorporate real field problems into their proposals.

“I learnt how to write a project and present it to the municipality in a more professional way, in order to find a financier and partner for the project and how to draft it in a 100 per cent legal and proper way,” said one of the trainees, Khadija Kerawni, a member of the Tayr Debba municipality.  Another participant, Azhar Ismail, from the Zalloutiyeh municipality said she learnt how to broaden “our thinking and write better projects, in addition to enabling us to find out ways to assist our society in a better way.”

One of the trainers, Professor Dr. Halima al-Kaakour, who is an expert in empowering women in the political field, said women’s presence in public affairs in south Lebanon is “impressive”. 
“We taught women what leadership means and what does it mean to exist and have confidence and how to listen more to women,” she added. “This was amazing because they represented women in the best way possible.”

The training project was identified and implemented jointly with elected women in municipalities in UNIFIL’s area of operations. A local non-governmental organization called “Lubhnani” implemented the project on the ground.  The participation of women in public affairs in south Lebanon is growing. In the 2010 municipal elections, 91 women were elected as Municipal Council members in south Lebanon and Nabatieh. In the 2016 election, the number rose to 119. 

UNIFIL had also trained women in south Lebanon, ahead of the 2016 municipal elections, in order to help them prepare their electoral agenda. 


Article: Tilak Pokharel
Video Editor: Suzane Badereddine, Aoibheann O'Sullivan, Mohammad Hamze
Video Camera: Aoibheann O'Sullivan, Mohammad Hamze
Photo: Pasqual Gorriz, Aoibheann O'Sullivan