SDG 5.3.3: IUL provides women’s access schemes

First it is important to know how the government works for gender equality, in this case, Lebanon has one of the most vibrant women’s movements in the Arab region. Lebanese women gained their right to vote in 1952, and since then, Lebanese women have made strides in advancing the women’s empowerment agenda. Lebanon’s ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1997 stimulated an increase in awareness of women’s rights within Lebanese society, followed by the establishment of the National Committee for Lebanese Women Affairs under the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in 1998. Today, enrollment rates for girls and boys are equal. In primary schools, the percentage of women who can read and write is 83% , page 39.


In 2016, the Office of the Minister of State for Women Affairs was established to support the advancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment in Lebanon, which was replaced by the government formed in 2019 by the Ministry of State for Women and Youth Economic Empowerment Affairs.

Lebanese women enjoy more rights and freedom compared to women elsewhere in the Arab world. Women in Lebanon can wear more liberal clothes and move with relative ease in certain parts of the country, unlike in other countries in the region. Lebanese women enjoy equal civil rights with men. However, due to the large number of officially recognized religions in Lebanon, Lebanese family affairs are governed by no less than 15 personal laws .

Many articles of the Lebanese Constitution stipulate the equality among all citizens. The gender equality and women’s empowerment was stated in the Lebanese Constitution as follows :

The Lebanese constitution promulgated in 1926 and amended does not contain any text that discriminates against women. Rather, it consecrates women’s equality.

All citizens are before the law without discrimination, and we can see this in many articles that determine the personal lives of individuals and the general:

  • Article 7 on equality in civil and political rights. Article 7 states: “All Lebanese shall be equal before the law. They shall equally enjoy civil and political rights and shall equally be bound by public obligations and duties without any distinction.”
  • Article 12 on equal access to public office
  • Article 21 on electoral eligibility
  • Articles 2, 9, 10, and 12, respectively, which protect personal freedom, freedom of belief, freedom of education, freedom of opinion, assembly and association.



But the most important thing remains, at the constitutional level, and what was included in the preamble to the constitution that was added to it according to the Constitutional Law No. 18 of 9/21/1990 and which was mentioned in Paragraph B of them verbatim:

“Lebanon is Arab in identity and belonging, and it is a founding and active member of the Arab League and abides by its charters, as it is a founding and active member of the United Nations Organization and abides by its charters and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The state embodies these principles in all fields and fields without exception”.

Free Access

The IUL has a strategy that supports and encourages women to participate in various programs as an implementation of the women’s access scheme. The latter includes plans for the mentoring programs, scholarships and other targeted support where all the instructors, staff and students can benefit from.  However, and from her Feminism, the IUL has established these programs particularly for providing empowerment and further advancement for the females at IUL but the males can benefit from them.

Women’s Mentoring Program

The IUL performs a sustainable Women’s Mentoring program in order to encourage professional advancement and the growth of female practitioners and academic workers. This program supports mentoring of female staff, students and even females in the society. The IUL provides those trainings in various domains and skills whether locally at IUL or by organizations in aim to provide the opportunities for women to represent and strengthen their leadership skills and develop technical skills.

Staff Mentoring programs:

These programs can be categorized into two axes:

           a)Mentoring delivered by IUL female staff

           b)Mentoring delivered to IUL female staff


          a)Mentoring delivered by female staff

In this program, the IUL encourages, supports and orients female instructors to provide mentoring by themselves. Within this program, many female instructors play a consultative role in governmental organizations as in Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE). Following shows invitations with the decree of IUL female instructor to participate in the committee of programs evaluation at the MEHE .




Another role for female women includes providing mentoring and awareness for the females in the society. One example includes conducting TV and Radio interviews that provide instructive information for the females in the society. Some of these interviews aim to provide instructive medical information and advices for the mother for their children care responsibilities. Few examples of these interview are: an interview entitled “Winter respiratory disease in children” at El Kawthar TV, Gastroenteritis in children at El Kawthar TV, Fasting in children at el Sahat Tv, importance of childhood visit on manar TV, and many others .








Other types of IUL female activities for serving the females in the society include organizing workshops related to their health or their children health. One example refers to a workshop organized by the female instructors of the Faculty of Health entitled “Hand in hand for down syndrome” for providing awareness for the female mothers about this genetic disorder in the children.



b)Mentoring delivered to female staff

The IUL supports all forms of trainings for female instructors and employees within and outside the University of various types. The IUL has conducted many collaborations (in section 5.3.6) which enable the IUL females’ instructors and students to obtain training in their career, specialty and other domains.

Professional Development Trainings

This type of trainings is provided to the female upon agreement between these academies and the IUL. Their aim is to enhance the skills of female instructors in advanced and specific areas within their specialty, where the instructors undergo exams and are accordingly granted international certificates. This training also is categorized as a training of trainers, by which the instructor becomes trainer for the IUL students as well. Example of these training include Commercial & Industrial Security Corporation (CISCO) in in IT, networking. In the following figure shows a female instructor Cisco certificate with a female student CISCO certificate taught by the mentioned IUL instructor (Evidence50). The collaboration of IUL with CISCO is based on the intersection of visions of both on the necessity of women enhancement on the level of technology which is a male-dominated domain. CISCO has developed the Gender Initiative project in aim to increase females’ access to IT training and career opportunities, combat the gender division of labor, and prevent women from being channeled into lower-paying jobs .


IUL has an agreement for professional training by “Le Centre de Formation des Professional de Sante du Le (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire) CHU Angers” – France, provided to another female instructor. All these trainings and certifications are delivered for free for the IUL instructors upon the protocols of agreement through which the IUL funds such trainings. The CHU angers center is known as an active centre for defending women’s right. Moreover, IUL allows the instructors to acquire these trainings during their working hours or working days without being counted from the annual vacations

Moreover, IUL females are provided with all the facilities and information about seminars that helps in empowering females on the educational and professional levels and keep them up-to-date with all advances in their specialization and career domains and even other domains. The following figures shows some of the certificates of IUL females’ participation in professional seminars.




CLICKs training

Upon the agreement of mutual cooperation between IUL and the Center for Learning Innovation and Customized Knowledge Solutions (CLICKS) to support the growth and development of the university through the provision of capacity building opportunities and various consultancy activities, a large number of female instructors have received a series of trainings, seminars and webinars on innovative techniques in effective teaching, as teaching effectively online and Student Assessment in Online Learning and Policies and Strategies One of these seminars was held at IUL under the title “Innovative Pedagogies For Better Student Engagement” and the instructors were granted certificates of this training. Another type of training included online training webinars as “Mediation awareness workshop” conducted by the Francophone Universities Agency (AUF) .





















ECD/ USAID workshops:

Based on the protocol of cooperation between IUL and the Education and Development Center (EDC)/USAID, the latter has conducted various webinars for female instructors for improving their administrative, academic, and job readiness capacity to better prepare graduates for employment and success in the job market. The participating female instructors were granted certificates for attending workshops entitled “Grant Writing Seminar: Organizational Infrastructure & successful Individual Practices” and “Mental Health Seminar: Coping with Crisis”.









Students Mentoring programs:

These programs are also divided into two categories:

  • Mentoring delivered to female students
  • Mentoring delivered by female students


      a)Mentoring delivered to female students

In addition to the trainings received by the IUL female instructors, the female students undergo various training sessions at IUL as the “VEX Robotics” Training.











IUL provides many training sessions specific to the Faculty of Law students especially the females to pass the “Bar of advocate” exam, in addition to the training on the entrance exam to the” Institute of Judicial Studies” and also for the “Notary Public” and many public departments like embassies, ministries and the Palace of justice in Lebanon.


Moreover, females’ students’ attaining training is considered as a mandatory requirement in some faculties (as engineering, public health and others) for graduation where “training courses” are involved in the curriculum and their credits are counted within the total acquired credits for graduation. Therefore, upon its agreements with companies, offices, hotels and hospitals (as Dar el Amal hospital, Bahman hospital, etc..) for the sake of training students, the IUL sends its female students to these organizations to acquire professional and technical skills within their specialties Evidence09). An example of such trainings and courses is “on how to use the machines” training organized by Tebnin General Hospital, training for Android Development at . 


b)Mentoring delivered by female students

In this context, the female students are assigned essential and representative roles in IUL exhibitions where they provide information and advices for the public especially students about the university, majors or projects .















The female students play also mentoring roles outside the IUL as the Hack for Hope (H4H) Mentor Lead/Coordinate role of a female students in order to guide the participating teams through ideation, design, and presentation of their projects .

As the IUL considers the female instructors have the competencies and right to represent and talk in the name of all IUL, similarly it assigns the female students the role of conducting the graduate students’ speech in the name of all the students at the IUL graduation ceremony.



Second: Scholarships provided by IUL to staff and students

In its solicitation to Female access empowerment, the IUL has a vision that supports and encourages the female students, employees and instructors to continue their post-graduate studies and to conduct researches under the sponsorship of the IUL whether conducted locally or at any other national or international university.

Firstly, the IUL encourages the female administrative staff to complete their masters’ study at IUL for free with providing many other facilities. May female employees have continued and many are currently continuing their master’s study at IUL. In case of studying outside the IUL, the IUL female is granted the necessary financial aids (about 5,000,000 LBP for each academic year) in case of PhD study.

Additionally, in case of abroad PhD defenses, the IUL grants a flight ticket for both the Phd female student and her supervisor to the country where the defense is held. IUL provides the studying female with paid vacations for the sake of exam attending and travelling for studying aboard or for conferences’ participation. The IUL also funds all the expenses of female participation in a journal or conference paper including the registration fees and abroad conference participation (flight ticket, hotel accommodation, daily pocket-money, etc…).


Furthermore, and as a part of its seeking for empowering women, many agreements are held between IUL and international universities in France, UK, Canada, etc…. These collaborations are in aim of providing the IUL female students and employees the opportunities, support, orientation and financial assistance to carry on their studies (masters’ and PhD) in these universities especially in the areas where females in Lebanon are underrepresented as engineering and law. One example of these conventions is shown in the following figure. Many current female instructors at IUL were under-graduate students of IUL and by its support and relations, they are PhD certified and employed by IUL as part, half and full-time instructors and many of them are assigned as deans or head of departments.


Other type of females’ scholarships provided by IUL in cooperation with agencies, organizations and other universities, includes scholarship for projects such as research projects, master’s study mobility and scientific stay at French universities, etc… The details about some females benefiting from these programs are provided in Table 1, Table 2, Table 3, and Table 4. Some examples of these programs include the FORSA program and the SAFAR program launched by the French Embassy in Beirut to allocate scholarships for female students wishing to pursue postgraduate studies Master 2 (one-year duration) and to register a doctoral thesis (3 years’ duration) in France. This partnership between IUL and France, provided the student Maha Al-Hajj to obtain a scholarship for the second phase of the M2 Master in Public Law that is pursued jointly by the University of Montpelier and the IUL. In addition to several female instructors who have benefited from these programs by conducting researches at the laboratories of the French universities (Table 4). 


Project Name

Activities of Project


Relationship with the IUL


Francophone network of women responsible in higher education and research


Membership of the IUL in 2019

Participation allowance in a scientific event

Mobility in France for the intervention of a teacher-researcher from the IUL at an international conference


The IUL teacher-researcher (Dr Charlotte Touzot) received this allocation for her intervention at the AGORAS international conference “Governing risks beyond time and borders”

Table 1. Projects of AUF

Project Name IUL

Budget allocated by AUF

Activities of IUL Project

Target audience

IUL team

Free-lance Job IUL

10.000€ in 2020

– Development of a digital platform (and application) to facilitate student / client relationships.

– Organization of training courses on professional ethics and market research.

– Organization of training on the use of the platform

.- Organization of a professional meeting seminar.

Translation students and recent graduates.


Project led by a woman, Sylvie Devigne

Use of ICT in education

2,500 € in the 1st semester of 2020

– Organization of training on the use of ICT tools in education in Jan 2020.

– Personalized support for teachers during the semester.

– Organization of a remediation training in July 2020.

Permanent teachers

Project led by a woman, Dr Mirna Mekdad

Table 2. IUL projects supported by AUF



Project Name

Activities of Project

Women beneficiaries



SAFAR Program

Research structuring stays


Development perspective of a research laboratory at the Faculty of Law / University of Rennes 1

15 days in October 2020

High level scientific stays


Initiate a bilateral research project on “the effects of high intensity intermittent aerobic training on cardio-respiratory adaptations in hemiplegics”. / Jules Verne University of Picardynsité on cardio-respiratory adaptations in hemiplegics”. / Jules Verne University of Picardy

15 days in October 2020



Master mobility


Completion of the Master 2 at the University of Montpellier

Academic year 2020-2021

Table 3. Program of  l’Institut français du Liban (IFL)

Program name

Project name


IUL team

Erasmus+ Capacity Building

Erasmus+ CONNECTE -Collaborative Network for Career-building, Training, and E-learning

(national structural project)

Coordinator: USJ

8 Lebanese partners (including the Ministry of EES) and 4 European partners (Austria, Belgium, France)

Project coordinated at the IUL by a woman, Sylvie Devigne

Table 4. ERASMUS+

Other targeted support

In addition to the mentoring and scholarship support provided by IUL to the IUL females and other society’s females, the IUL also provides various support of the females. It supports, advises and guides its female students to acquire some professional certified courses provided online by academies and International Universities. These extra certificates can form an added value to the female students’ academic study at IUL and curriculum vitae, and consequently their future career opportunities. Another female participation includes training courses and programs conducted by international universities or academies which by their turn have programs for supporting women. Some of these courses are “Introduction to IoT” conducted by CISCO academy, “Introduction to Big DATA” by UC San Diego University, “Introduction to Personal Branding” by University of Virginia, “Let’s Break the Chain of COVID’19 infections” by Mohamad Bin Rasehd University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Basic Chinese communication skills from Beijing Language and Culture University. One distinguished training is the one presented by the Huawei’s SFTF program which selects students based on their experience, knowledge, and achievements to travel to Huawei HQ for 2 weeks. An IUL female student was selected for this program where she was provided with many trainings including, Learned the basics of 1G to 5G, IoT, AI, Cloud Computing, and Big Data and obtained a Certified ICT Associate in Artificial Intelligence.  Figure 24 shows some of these courses certificates. It is worth to mention that Huawei is multinational technology company that designs, develops, and sells telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics (mainly smartphones) and it has several initiatives for that supports the role of women in technology .







Moreover, IUL organizes seminars for its staff and students specifically for the female ones for affording them with skills and experiences in different domains. These seminars are handled at IUL and are conducted by professional and high-experienced mentors .


On example of the females’ engagement in these seminars is the one organized by the Faculty of Law, headed by a female dean, entitled “Representation of the victim in the International Court: From recent acquisitions?”, as part of the inter-university program in international law and international criminal procedures. The lecture was given by the Head of the Victims Representation Department at the International Criminal Court, Dr. Philip Ambach, to the students and a number of the teaching staff via the “Skype” program, where he dealt with the issue of the victim participation and reparations system at the International Criminal Court.

Additionally, IIUL provides the female students with another type of programs as discovery visits within their specialties to hotels, companies, hospitals and others. A group of female students of the Faculty of Tourism Sciences at IUL visited Rafic Hariri International Airport. This visit was in aim of getting familiarized with the progress of work in each of the Meteorological Authority, the Communications Authority and the LAT company, and thus their role in ensuring aviation safety. It is noteworthy that these field visits are at the core of the department’s academic curriculum, as it includes courses related to airport management and flights and the Rafic Hariri Airport is a women’s empowering program supportive .

Within the framework of field visits aimed at introducing students to the hotel sector, female students of the Hotel Management Department at the Faculty of Tourism Sciences visited the Kempinski Summerland Hotel, where they toured several departments accompanied by the concerned managers, most notably: the reception department, the food and beverage department, organizing celebrations, and managing rooms and conference rooms and meetings. During this visit, the female students were introduced to the progress of work in these departments and the policies adopted in them .