Notre Dame University- Louaize (NDU) celebrated on March 5, 2018, at its main campus, a daylong International Women's Day conference themed, "She Powers...," held under the patronage and in the presence of Lebanese Minister for Women's Affairs H.E. Jean Oghassabian and Lebanese Minister of State for Administrative Reform H.E. Dr. Inaya Ezzeddine. Also in attendance were Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union Mission in Lebanon Julia Koch de Biolley; Executive Board Member of the National Commission for Lebanese Women Martine Najem Kteily; President of the Lebanese League for Women in Business Asmahan Zein; invited guests; media representatives; and a number of University faculty, staff, and students.
The conference was organized in the framework of bolstering the University strategy to strengthen the role of women in decision-making and to motivate them to develop their skills. Apart from being firmly committed to empowering women and to fully supporting the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), including SDG#5 and SDG#10, the University is proud to state that 50 percent of its faculty and staff, 66 percent of its chairpersons, and 40 percent of its students are women.
NDU President Fr. Pierre Najem delivered the welcome address, expounding on the University strategy to improve the representation and role of every woman across the three campuses with regard to encouraging gender equality and establishing platforms for the increased participation of women in both the administrative and Faculty decision-making process.
For his part, Oghassabian said, “the various women’s forum comprised of a host of influential speakers in science, business, politics, and public service. The “Women in Politics Panel” was presided by Lebanese TV presenter and producer Dalia Dagher, Secretary-General of the Lebanese Forces (LF) Party Dr. Chantal Sarkis, and Deputy General Manager of An-Nahar newspaper Michelle Tueni.
Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Engineering (FE) at NDU Dr. Sophia Ghanimeh moderated the “Women in Science Panel” with the participation of Director of the Parliamentary Capacity Development Portfolio at the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) in the MENA Laury Haytayan. This panel focused on Arab parliamentarians’ legislative and oversight roles in advancing reforms in the Middle East’s Oil and Gas sector.
Legal Counsel at NDU Asma el-Khazen represented the University in the “Women in Public Sector Panel” with the participation of Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) representative General Dr. Rima Abou Hamad, Internal Security Forces (ISF) Captain Sylva Salameh, and Lebanese General Security Captain Rana Asfour.
The final panel emphasized the “Role of Women in Business” with Chairperson of the Department of Management and Marketing at NDU Dr. Jennifer Abou Hamad, Founder and CEO of Ounousa.com Elsa Aoun, and NDU alumna and Boecker International Country Manager in Qatar Carla Ghaleb Tarraf.