NAYA| Christelle El Hayek: From Lebanon’s Girl Scouts to representing the world group in NYC

During the Commission, Hayek will be discussing the rights of unemployed and disabled women who do not benefit from the social protection policies not only in Lebanon, but also in many other countries.
by Danah Kaouri and Maguie Hamzeh

8 February 2019 | 11:51

Source: by Annahar

The sisterhood of the Scouts, (L) El Hayek with fellow guides out on the trails. (H/O)

BEIRUT: This March, Christelle El Hayek from the Lebanese Girl Guides Association will be a voice for 10 million girl guides and girl scouts and women everywhere, selected by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) to be part of its delegation at the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York.

The commission focuses on deliberating social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for the empowerment of women and girls.

WAGGGS is a movement for girls that gives some delegates the opportunity to discuss issues that matter to them in a commission held every year.

The newly appointed delegate was motivated by the Chief Commissioner of the girl guides association in Lebanon to apply for the 63rd Commission. El Hayek’s dedication to justice and fairness was also a major reason that led her to apply, “I use justice and fairness in my everyday life, from how I drive to how I treat people.” highlighted El Hayek.

Passionate about both chemistry and physics, El Hayek majored in chemical engineering at the University of Balamand. She spent her high-school years in Saint Joseph school in Mount Lebanon, where she was part of the school’s scouts group- Cornet Chehwen. “I found great benefit and ways to help society, I kept growing from there and now I’m helping to lead the movement,” said El Hayek.

El Hayek is currently a project manager at the Oil and Gas Initiative NGO that advocates for better governance of the sector by learning from more developed countries. “The group focuses on the importance of sharing and enabling members to get out of their comfort zone, while also teaching them about citizenship, speaking up, punctuality and loving our country,” explained El Hayek.

“What empowers me the most is seeing these young girls becoming better versions of themselves,” she added.

During the Commission, El Hayek will be discussing the rights of unemployed and disabled women who do not benefit from social protection policies not only in Lebanon but also in many other countries such as Bangladesh and Cambodia, “employed women can get certain remuneration after retiring but most unemployed women or housewives don’t have this benefit,” said El Hayek.

In addition to that, she will be discussing the issues of public services such as electricity and water supply, holding that an end to these problems would enable many women to spend less time doing domestic work and become more active in their community.

At the end of the commission, an outcome document will be issued that includes all statements and policies, “if all countries present in the commission agree to it, local authorities will be encouraged to start implementing,” El Hayek told Annahar.

After coming back from the commission, El Hayek hopes to work relevant ministries in Lebanon as well as ministries in the region in order to share with them the experience and the solutions she gained throughout her successful journey. She is also looking forward to running a project that tackles issues related to women in our region.

“My family’s gift to me was encouraging me to join the scouts, their support is one of the main pillars of my success and they have been supportive of every aspect of my journey,” noted El Hayek.


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