In January, Saad Hariri awarded the portfolio of Ministry of Interior to Rayya Al Hassan, the first time a woman has held the role in the Arab World.
With women accounting for more than half of society, Lebanon must get used to having them occupy leadership roles and possibly even become head of state, the country’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri said during the World Government summit today.
“Over 54% of our population are women. Not involving them in our policies or taking care of their employment is a loss to our own GDP,” he said.
Hariri’s comments came during a panel discussion at the World Government Summit being held in Dubai, during which he fielded questions about how he plans to reinvigorate the Lebanese economy after months of political infighting.
Hariri has been an active proponent of women in official capacities. His 30-person cabinet, formed in January after nine months of political wrangling, named four women in ministerial positions, including Raya Al Hassan as Interior Minister, the first time in the Arab World that a woman has held such a role.
“The Arab World and Lebanon can do much better with women in leadership,” he said. “As Minister of Interior, Rayya will do very well with bringing in reforms, something we need a lot of and have been struggling because we haven’t had any.
“I know succesful women at all levels and I would even prefer to have more women than men in some aspects of the government. Of course we must encourage all to be part of the economy, but women especially because they are such a major part of our economy,” he said.
The World Government Summit is being held in Dubai until February 12, 2019.