There’s an anecdote concerning Bill Gates and a speech he made in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia that goes as follows:

Bill Gates recalls once being invited to speak in Saudi Arabia and finding himself facing a segregated audience. Four-fifths of the listeners were men, on the left. The remaining one-fifth were women, on the right.  A partition separated the two groups. Toward the end, in the question-and-answer session, a member of the audience noted that Saudi Arabia aimed to be one of the Top 10 countries in the world in technology by 2010 and asked if that was realistic. ‘Well, if you’re not fully utilizing half the talent in the country,’ Gates said, ‘you’re not going to get too close to the Top 10.’

Bill Gates was very wise and very diplomatic in his reply. He could have certainly answered: “‘Well, if you’re not fully utilizing half the talent in the country, you’re not going to get far from the rough bottom of the list”

Is Lebanon utilizing  women’s talent ?


The Lebanese man is to large extent selfish. He could be very jealous of other men looking at his wife, he can feel insulted and his honor stained by comments about his mother, sister or daughter. Still, paradoxically, that same proud man – more than politicians –  is the main accountable for women’s discrimination, by voting since 1943, for legislators who in their turn established a sexist system that ignores Women’s Rights.

Isn’t it time yet for a change ?



Democracy Support Strategies: Leading with Women’s Political Empowerment

World Bank: The Status & Progress of Women, în the Middle East and North Africa

Click to access MENA_Gender_Compendium-2009-1.pdf


Global Parliamentary Report:


Quote Reference

Note: William (Bill) Henry Gates (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate, investor, author, philanthropist, humanitarian, and principal founder of the Microsoft Corporation. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of chairman, CEO and chief software architect, while also being the largest individual shareholder until May 2014.

One thought on “Lebanese Women and Politics

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