Lebanon's Minister of Finance Raya Haffar al-Hassan speaks during a news conference at her office in Beirut December 3, 2009. Lebanon may seek to borrow next year to help service existing debt and might also seek to reschedule some debts due in 2010 to benefit from low interest rates, Hassan said on.
(photo credit: JAMAL SAIDI/ REUTERS)
Lebanon’s Raya El-Hassan became the first-ever female in charge of security in the Arab world.
Hassan, who took office on Wednesday, was appointed interior minister after a nine-month government deadlock.
“Proud of Lebanese women, proud of the four female ministers in the government, proud of the first woman interior minister in the Arab world, proud of the future, proud of Lebanon,” Prime Minister Saad Hariri tweeted last week.
As interior minister, Hassan says she will ensure the security and stability of the country, but will do so without interfering with public freedoms, reported Libnanews, a foreign-based French-language Lebanese news site.
Hassan is one of four women in the 30-minister government. The others carry the Energy, Administrative Development and Women’s Affairs portfolios.
Jean Oghassabian, the country’s first minister for women who was appointed in 2016, was male.
Hassan first made headlines when she was appointed finance minister from 2009-2011, becoming the first woman in the Arab world to hold that title as well, reported United Arab Emirates daily The National.
“To be honest it was a surprise but I am proud too of course,” Hassan said, according to the report.
“Mr. Hariri has trusted me twice by giving me two difficult ministries. It demonstrates his trust in women’s capabilities.”
Lebanon has also made efforts to promote women in local politics, with six women elected into the 128-seat parliament in the May 6 election.
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