After nine long months of waiting, Lebanon finally has new cabinet formation.
Last Thursday, Lebanese politicians reached an agreement over a governmental formula that pleases every party.
With Saad El Hariri as Prime Minister, the cabinet is composed of 30 ministries.
The happy surprise came after the announcement of the bigger female presence in the formula, consisting of 4 women ministers.
Women have always had a tiny share, if any, in the Lebanese political and government sphere. It finally starts changing this year.
So who are these women?
Nada Boustani - Minister of Energy and Water
The youngest member of the Cabinet, the 36-year-old mother of one was a former advisor of the Minister of Water and Energy. After graduating from the Grande école de commerce de Paris (ESCP Europe) with a Master's Degree in Management, she worked for 4 years in financial and practical strategies to restructure a number of international companies.
In 2010, she returned to Lebanon to work in the political field. Her consulting services have not only affected the electricity sector but also other projects and issues related to the organizational structure of the Ministry of Energy and its institution.
May Chidiac - Minister of State for Administrative Affairs
May Chidiac was a former television journalist at the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation until an assassination attempt on her life. She was one of the few critics of Syria keeping troops stationed in Lebanon after the end of the Lebanese Civil War.
Throughout her career, Chidiac has received numerous international awards and prizes of which are “Le Prix de la Francophonie pour la Liberté d’expression”. On 27 October 2006, May Chidiac received one of the three Courage in Journalism Awards presented by the International Women's Media Foundation.
Raya Haffar El Hassan - Minister of Internal Affairs
Raya Haffar Al Hassan Minister of Interior and Municipalities, and former Minister of finance, is the first woman in Lebanon and the region to be appointed as Minister of Interior. She received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the American University of Beirut in 1987.
Early in her career, Hassan worked with Méditerranée Investors Group. She then served as an advisor to the Minister of Economy and Trade and later worked as a member of the Office of the Prime Minister, leading different projects and supervising expenditure management reforms. Subsequently, Hassan also worked on reforms, elaborating economic and social reform agendas, for the Prime Minister's office.
Violette Safadi - Minister of State for Social and Economic Rehabilitation for Youth and Women
The news anchor of the remarkable MTV show "Akid Fina" was assigned as the Communication Consultant of the Ministries of Economy & Trade, and Finance. This is in addition to her position as the Executive Director of “Safadi Group Holding”. She majored in International Business in NDU-Louaize and then embarked upon a career in both media and business.
She recently established the “Indeed Better Together” Association that seeks to improve the living conditions of all individuals and to provide them with moral and material support.