|Date: Mar 23, 2019|
|Source: The Daily Star|
|Mentoring program aims to empower rural Lebanese female entrepreneurs|
|BEIRUT: A mentoring program launched Friday will pair 430 female entrepreneurs in rural areas across Lebanon with female business leaders.|
The Women’s Mentoring Program 2019-2020 will connect women leaders in business from the Blessing Foundation’s network with beneficiaries of the She Min Lebnen program to develop rural women’s entrepreneurial skills, according to a statement.
The launch of the mentorship program will aim to build on the work of the She Min Lebnen initiative that was launched in 2018 and aims to empower Lebanese women in rural areas by helping them design and sell curated handmade products.
The mentoring program will extend over a period of six months, when the women will have the opportunity to shadow their mentor’s workplace and develop their skills by learning about product refinement and marketing.
“Those 430 women from rural Lebanon constitute the nucleus of our initiative. They will be ambassadors of change in their own communities and will create micro businesses and opportunities to others,” Rima el-Husseini, the founder of the Blessing Foundation, was quoted as saying in the statement.
The program was launched under the patronage of Minister of State for the Economic Empowerment for Youth and Women Violette Safadi in partnership with U.N. Women and U.N. Global Compact Network Lebanon.
Safadi confirmed her office’s commitment to the economic empowerment of women and outlined her office’s strategy, which she said would focus on three issues, according to the statement. “First, women’s capacity and skills building, second, encouraging women to start their businesses and third, updating laws that eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and motivate them to change their society and participate in decision making,” Safadi said.
Dina Harake, executive director of the United Nations Global Compact Network Lebanon, highlighted the fifth Sustainable Development Goal to achieve gender equality at the program's launch, the statement said. “SDG five is one of the most central SDGs that lie at the heart of the 2030 Agenda. Gender equality is one of the core challenges across the globe, as gender gaps persist whether in Lebanon or the rest of the world,” Harake said.
Lebanon was ranked 140th out of 149 countries on the 2018 World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index.