SDG 5: Gender Equality


The achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls to reach their full potential is key to Goal 5. The achievement of this goal requires the elimination of all forms of discrimination, violence and harmful practices against women and access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Work towards this goal will also mean the achievement of gender parity in political, public and economic life. 

The IUL aims to prepare women to become change agents in their families and communities and to assume leadership positions in the university and in the society. In addition to the moral and humanitarian background behind this objective, the IUL vision is inspired by both the Lebanese Constitution which states the equality among all citizens, and the Islamic morals, illustrated by the Quranic Surahs, that emphasizes on the dignity and rights of the female and giving her equal rights as the male. of the verses is mentioned in “El Na7el Surah” that states that “Whoever does a good male or female while believing, let us make him live a good life and let us give them a better reward” 

{مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِنْ ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُمْ بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ}

Moreover, some Quranic Surahs state the necessity of equality in the right to education and does not differentiate between male and female in acquiring this right. One of the verses is mentioned in the “El mojadalat Surah “below: 

{يَرْفَعُ اللهُ الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْا مِنْكُمْ وَالَّذِيْنَ أُوْتُوْا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجٰتٍ وَاللهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُوْنَ خَبِيْر}

In keeping with this objective and in adhesion to the Islamic morals mentioned in the Quran for honoring and respecting women and emphasizing on their right in higher education, the IUL vision is centered on the concept that women have the right to access to all domains of studying and to have respectable, empowering work; The IUL embraces a combination of principles for female labor force participation, women’s economic development.  

SDG 5: Gender Equality

As we know that all around the world most women still suffer from the issue of gender inequality. Women still suffer from the lack of equal opportunities with men to where it becomes known universally that it is by all means a man’s world. Even the largest corporations in the world still have men as their chief executive officers predominantly. Gender inequality leads to many problems around the world in all aspects and it is a main reason behind the underdevelopment of many countries globally. 

Gender inequality prevents women from pursuing opportunities that might be beneficial to the whole society; a loss to all. This is very misfortunate. 

Indeed, this inequality is governed by many factors among which are culture, traditions and religion. 

The aim of the fifth goal is to empower women and girls in order to achieve gender equality. The achievement of this goal requires the abolishment of all forms of discrimination, abuse and unethical behavior against women. 

The Islamic University of Lebanon aims at preparing women in their families and societies to become agents of change and to assume leadership roles at universities and in society. The IUL vision towards women is influenced by the Qur’anic Surahs, which emphasize the dignity and rights of women and grant them equal rights as men, in addition to the moral and humanitarian context behind this goal.  


IUL is a university for the entire country, through its vision and establishment. IUL, irrespective of religious, sectarian or ethnic affiliation, does not discriminate between any of the components of the homeland. One of the pillars of the university’s mission and one of its most critical goals is equality between men and women. Actually, the current president of the university is a female; Professor Dina El Mawla. 

Accordingly, anything relevant to the female aspect of the university is constantly and consistently controlled by the university administration, whether by the admission or application rate for students, the recruitment process or the commitment of the educational staff and body. 

In this part, we will present and illustrate the adopted policy by the Islamic University of Lebanon to ensure gender equality and reduce inequalities.  

IUL and gender equality:

The Islamic University of Lebanon gives way to women in order to prove their capabilities and qualifications by allocating leadership and senior roles to them. The conclusive evidence of this policy’s application is that a female president (Prof. Dina el Maoula) heads the IUL. Moreover, women also play important roles as decision-makers. They are deans of the faculty, heads of departments, coordinators of courses and supervisors of internships. 

At IUL, the recruitment policy is based on the qualifications, education, experience and convenience of the position or course, subject to the involvement of women in all faculties and departments.  

The payment policy at IUL aims at reducing gender gaps between men and women where all genders’ employees are paid equally for work of equal importance and have the same rights. Furthermore, for a pregnant full-time female teacher, there are special policies that reduce her workload. Moreover, IUL supports and encourages female students, staff and instructors to push their studies and conduct research under the IUL’s sponsorship, and through agreements between the IUL and international universities. Also, the university encourages female students to participate in conferences by covering all the required fees.  

Under the leadership of Prof. Al Maoula, IUL received the French institutional accreditation “High Council for the Assessment of Science and Higher Education” (HCERES) for five years without any requirements or restrictions. Moreover, the French government awarded Prof Al Maoula the Academic “Palme d’Or”. Moreover, Prof. Al Maoula was appointed as president of the Association of Francophone Arab Universities in the Middle East to the 10th CONFREMO General Assembly. She also took over the presidency of the 51st session of the executive office of the Association of Arab Universities. 

Female students are encouraged to apply for majors where women are underrepresented such as engineering. The IUL encourages also the involvement of female students in national and international activities and training sessions. 

In the domain of sports, IUL supports and sponsors sports teams for female students. The results of this policy are the formation of several teams such as basketball team, Ping-Pong team, and shooting team and the accomplishments of teams and students.  

Moreover, application forms at IUL don’t require applicants to mention the transgender issue, whether for work or study, as the IUL believes it is a private and personal matter in which it does not intervene and does not have any impact on the application. Also, female employees and teachers are given 40-day maternity paid leave and financial assistance.  

At the social level, all IUL employees profit from financial assistance through several forms: covering children’s school tuitions, free registration at IUL, covering fees at another university if the desired major is not available at IUL, and health insurance. In addition, and according to IUL’s policy, women have the right to notify the administration if they were discriminated against. In this case, strict measures are applied to ensure gender equality.  

The University has developed the ‘Regulations for the Implementation of Gender Equality Policies in Education at the Islamic University of Lebanon.’ The Regulation specifies that: The University should not demonstrate unequal treatment on the basis of gender or sexual preference during the hiring of employees, the recruitment of students and the conditions for admission (new policies file to be approved by the president).  

Additionally, a force labor legislation is established at the IUL, where all its articles don’t discriminate between the genders and even doesn’t mention it for the employee criteria, rights or duties. All the criteria mentioned in this legislation for an academic or staff position, promotion, salary, vacation, etc… are identified regardless of the gender, they are based only on the eligibility of the persons for any of these submissions.

  • Moreover, some courses taught at the IUL emphasizes on the role of Women in Society as the “Business Ethics and Social Responsibility” course conducted in the Faculty of Economics and Business administration, “International Humanitarian Law” by faculty of Law, and “Culture, Ethics and Religions” by all faculties. 

The IUL’s policy of women’s Access and participation plan, this IUL’s policy of women’s Access can be summarized as follows:  

  1. The IUL does not discriminate between males and females in the academic positions access and academic activities participation. It maintains gender equity strategies, where the female has the same right as the equivalent male to be assigned leadership positions and senior academic roles. Female instructors have the same right to be assigned any position, to teach or coordinate any course and to a member in the faulty board as the male equivalent [1] articles 68-77. 
  2. The policy for employment is based on the competencies, education, experience and convenience for the position or course and does not take into account the gender identity, with the condition of the presence of the females in all faculties and departments. In case of the absence of competent candidate female, then the position can be occupied by a male. 
  3. The IUL involves a large number of female instructors in all faculties as well as female employees in all administrative departments based on the vision of the IUL of women labour force participation equity.  
  4. Employed females get the same rights on all the domains as the male equivalent. In the teaching domain, they get the same number of teaching hours as the male with the same academic rank, they are granted the eligibility in supervising graduate projects and juries similarly as the male instructors. Moreover, there is a special policy that lowers the teaching burden and the work load for a pregnant full-time female instructor. Additionally, instructors from either gender are subjected to the same rules and conditions for getting academic promotions, and academic trainings.
  • Female employees and staff can participate in any academic or sports activities equally as the males. 
  • Female employees and instructors have the same rights in annual vacations, sick leaves with more specific vacations in case of pregnancy .
  • The IUL employment policy acts to close the gender wage gap where employees of both genders are equally paid for work of equal value, they have the same privileges for preferment, children salary, health insurance, salary promotions and bonuses, and recompense .

The leadership roles that Prof. El Maoula has been assigned, in addition to her leadership of IUL, illustrates clearly the empowering of the women’s role in the subjects where they are underrepresented. Moreover, this female president has and is still working for defending the women’s rights inside IUL as its leader and outside IUL from the leadership positions that she has occupied. In addition to these leadership positions, she has been assigned various roles in many associations.  These authority positions and roles of the female president had provided the IUL with more power and influence to defend the women’s rights and raise their voices nationally and internationally.   

The roles that Prof. El-Moula was assigned and through which she is defending and demanding fiercely the women’s rights, empowerment and equality are as follows: 

IUL Females as other societies’ female supporters

Under the spot of empowering females, the IUL instructors are directed for the participation in seminars related directly to empowering women. One example is “Girls Got IT” which is a joint initiative bringing together five active Lebanese NGOs: The Lebanese League for Women in Business (LLWB), Arab Women in Computing (ArabWIC), Women in Technology (WIT), Women in Engineering (WIE) and Digital Opportunity trust (DOT) together. Girls Got IT is held under the sponsorship of the UNICEF and GIL (Generation of Innovative Leaders). “Girls Got IT” aims to break the cultural stereotypes that surround women in STEAM subjects by exposing young females to essential technology skills, allowing them to meet inspiring role models and learn more about the various success stories from their country and the world. 

Female instructors attend seminars for support female researches as a seminar entitled “Les ELLES de la Recherche” organized by the National Observatory for the leadership and Empowerment of Women in Research (Dawrek’n). Dawrek’n is funded by UNESCO Participation Program for 2018-2019, it aims to support Lebanese female researchers in their efforts towards empowerment in the scientific environment, and this in all disciplines of research and innovation (basic sciences and engineering, medical sciences, environmental sciences and agriculture, human and social sciences …). IUL females also conduct keynotes and present women supportive visons in other seminars organized by (Dawrek’n) as in “Dardacha Talks” and other events that are related to women in research. “Dardacha Talks” is a new format for research storytelling with a Lebanese twist and during which Lebanese female scientists from all disciplines and universities will take the challenge to popularize their research.

IUL Female Students participations and roles

In addition to its plan or empowering women in the society, the IUL empowerment policy is also dedicated to empower the female students. This starts for the mentoring of the school female students at the IUL open day. This open day is organized every year by IUL for all the school students during which these students get introduced to the university. The IUL staff and students provide mentoring by giving overview about the different faculties and the different majors in these faculties and their job opportunities.  

Moreover, the female students are oriented and encouraged to apply for majors where females are underrepresented as for engineering major or other majors where the job opportunities are better for them as for nursing and others.  This orientation is also carried on for the candidate students during their registration process.

Moreover, the IUL female students are oriented and encouraged to achieve successes and present their skills nationally and internationally as well as empowering their personalities and communication skills (it is worth to mention that the female students undergo a communication skills course during their study at IUL). In this context, the IUL supports and orients the female students for participation in national and international competitions, events and trainings. 

A female student was assigned the role of Hult Prize Campus Director at IUL during 2017-2018.

The following Table shows some of the projects accomplished by female students, the competitions’ names and the acquired rewards. These projects are funded by IUL and accomplished at its laboratories using the equipment’s of these laboratories, supervised and guided by the IUL instructors. 

Project title 

Competition and year 


Portable patient monitoring system (Salamati) 

International invention fair of middle east Kuwait 


Silver medal 

Gold medal (Portugal inventor association) 

Portable patient monitoring system 


Falling walls lab by CNRS and German 


2nd place + innovation tour in Germany 


YLP5 by UNDP and INJAZ completion 


Most innovative solution award 


Doha oasis of innovation representing Lebanon 


Gold medal 

Human airbag 

BAU SIRACUS conference 




Invention vs corona contest by IFIA (international federation of inventor association Geneva) 


Gold medal 


YLP Incubator by UNDP Lebanon 


Chosen to be in the incubator and accelerator of 


Portable patient monitoring system 



France embassy 



Le Mot d’Or, business French competition (Evidence48) 

Annual competition open to students 

1 IUL Translation student  participated in the national final of the competition 

MT180 (my thesis in 180 secondes) 

Annual competition organized by AUF 

1 law thesis student participated in the national final of the competition 

IUL females Sport activities participation

Finally, from the persuasion of the right and capability of female participation in any type of activity as the males, the IUL encourages, founds and funds sports teams for female students and they have several participations and achievements. One of these female teams is a basketball team where a female instructor plays the role of the coach of this team. This team had a participation in the Lebanese Universities Basketball League in 2019.  

Another female team is the Ping-Pong team that also has participated in the Lebanese Universities championship of Ping Pong – 2019.  

One attractive team that reflects the equity between genders at IUL is the female shooting team. This latter had a participation in the Lebanese Universities Shooting Championship 2018, and a female Student ranked in the fifth place among more than 12 universities. 

Another remarkable achievement for the IUL females on the sports level is the participation of a female student in six national and international marathons and achieving the first ranks in most of them.  

On March 2019, she achieved three rewards: the 5 Km first place in age categories/second place over all at the OPAP Limassol Marathon – Cyprus, and the 200 m Second place at the AUB meeting and 400m – first place at the West Asian championship.

Conclusion and future perspectives:

IUL is working on more policies to enhance women’s empowerment such as regulation to impose a quota for female representation in faculty committees, committee members, department heads, faculty deans, and administrative department, a quota for female participation in IUL-sponsored training, conferences, seminars and webinars, a quota for female participation in research programs, mobility, and exchange with other universities and one for female student participation in some study programs. 

Female employees at IUL are working on activities such as organizing webinars and workshops to develop the skills of the female network at the university, creating females’ communities to empower inside and outside IUL, encouraging females to join NGOs and charities in the aim of empowering women in Lebanon and launching a women’s empowerment campaign to assist women across the globe in raising their voice and realizing their dreams.