A handover ceremony was held this week between the former Interior Minister Nouhad El Machnouk and the new Interior Minister Raya El Hassan, who became Lebanon’s first female Interior Minister.
Raya El Hassan stated, during a televised news conference in the Ministry of Interior, that she has indeed taken over a challenge because “the Interior Ministry implements the law and serves the citizens.”
In addition, she is the first female Minister of Interior and she has to prove that Lebanese women can bear the burden of such heavy duties.
El Hassan also stated that during her tenure she will complete the unfinished projects launched by her predecessor, Nouhad El Machnouk. She will also unveil her own projects and oversee the strict implementation of laws related to domestic violence, traffic, celebratory gunfire, and the environment.
“I will seek to have my own very special touch, building on the work done before me,” she said
Minister El Hassan encouraged all women to contact the security forces in case they were subject to any form of abuse, adding that “it is the duty of the security forces to protect women”.
Minister El Hassan noted that she will work on imposing the traffic law and said that she will enact new measures to reduce the number of car accidents and traffic jams.
Minister El Hassan said that she will work on “implementing security measures” stressing that these measures will not interfere with people’s freedom”.
She will also deal with the issue of weapons and random shooting, stressing that she will hold anyone accountable who violates the law. She also pledged to focus on enabling cooperation among Lebanon’s security agencies and ensuring stability and security in the country.
She vowed to improve cooperation between agencies, uphold human rights and improve conditions in prisons.
Raya El Hassan is one of four women in the 30-member government that was formed last week. The formation of the government with four women was considered a historical record for women in Lebanon who have been seeking to improve the representation of women in politics.