BEIRUT: Going from medicine to politics, as different as these two fields may seem, Dr. Inaya Ezzedine proved that women are capable of mastering any field they set their minds to.
She is the current Minister of State for Administrative Reform. After studying Medicine at the American University of Beirut, she switched to the political field in 2008.
Her interest started when she was a child. Growing up in the South, she was faced with the poverty and the challenges of her city with the Israeli conflict being so close to home.
With Moussa Al Sadr, co-founder of the Amal Movement, preaching for change and advocating action to fight for the underprivileged, especially the South, Dr. Ezzeddine’s interest grew.
Al-Sadr worked hard to improve the situation in the South, especially women, whereby he started several organizations offering them jobs. He believed that the woman is an essential part of the economic development of a family, so one must make use.
“I used to listen to his speeches and feel a sense of activism and rebellioun against the status quo firing up inside me,” Dr. Ezzeddine told Annahar.
She was an activist for the Amal Movement at AUB, while pursuing her education. She balanced both interests together until she started drifting a bit from medicine. In 2008, she officially became a member of the political council of the Amal Movement. She was later appointed by MP Nabih Berri as a minister.
It was a shock for some of the Amal Movement and other Lebanese to see a woman as a minister; but with time, they had to get used to the idea, as Dr. Ezzeddine said. It took them time to judge according to qualifications and effort rather than just gender.
With hard work, however, she proved herself and made it a success story. The elections of 2018 kicked off and she was a strong candidate, now a winning one.
People were able to relate to her, as she hadn’t come from a wealthy family with a chain of connections. Rather, she worked hard to reach where she is now: the Minister of State for Administrative Reform.
Eezzedine worked in an Anti-Corruption Workshop with the UNGC, and Senior Marketing Manager of Liban Post Ronnie Richa felt she’s handling the corruption situation very well. “She’s a very cooperative person, and very down to earth, and much more women like her are needed in power in Lebanon,” Richa said.
Without comparing herself to anyone else, men or women, she focused on her qualities and potential by maximizing them. This gave her emotional stability and peace of mind, she said.
As for her advice to women, Ezzedine has an empowering message.
“I don’t consider women as a category on their own,” said Dr. Ezzeddine, “For women to move forward and succeed, they have to stop separating themselves from the rest of society. For them to gain their rights and get what they want, they have to be innovative.”
She hopes that women in power now will prove that women can be trusted to be leaders.
Welcome to “Naya,” the newest addition to Annahar’s coverage. This section aims at fortifying Lebanese women’s voices by highlighting their talents, challenges, innovations, and women’s empowerment. We will also be reporting on the world of work, family, style, health, and culture. Naya is devoted to women of all generations-Naya Editor, Sally Farhat:
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