BEIRUT — In Lebanon’s 2022 parliamentary elections, a record eight women were elected to serve in Parliament, hailing from across the country. Not only do the MPs represent geographical and political diversity, but also come from a range of professional backgrounds, having had success in the worlds of academia, medicine and entertainment, as well as experience on the ground in several protest movements. In terms of numbers, Beirut I and Mount Lebanon IV had the highest number of women, all opposition candidates, while established political groups saw winners from four different constituencies.
Establishment political parties
Ghada Ayoub is the incoming MP of the South I constituency for the Lebanese Forces. She is a legal advisor to the Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission at Lebanon’s National Scientific Research Center. Ayoub is also an associate professor on the faculty of law and political sciences at the Lebanese University, and the chairperson of the department of public law. She received a PhD in international nuclear law from the University of Montpellier.
Nada Boustany is the incoming Free Patriotic Movement MP in the Mount Lebanon I constituency. She served as an advisor to the energy minister before assuming the position herself in 2018. Her term ended when former Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned and dissolved his cabinet in the wake of the Oct. 17 popular uprising.
Inaya Ezzedine is a former minister and an incumbent MP in the South II constituency for the Amal Movement. She holds an MD from the American University of Beirut and is the founding director of M.A.P. Medical Testing and Laboratories in Hamra, Beirut. She served as Administrative Reform Minister from 2016 to 2019, the only female in Saad Hariri’s second cabinet. She is also head of the Women and Children Parliamentary Committee. In 2020, she received the French Legion of Honor, in recognition of her public service. She is the sister of Hassan Ezzedine, a member of the Amal Movement who was killed during the Israeli invasion of 1982.
Sethrida Geagea is an incumbent MP in the North III constituency for the Lebanese Forces. She is the wife of the group’s leader, Samir Geagea. During his 11-year jail term, she was acting head of the Lebanese Forces. She was first elected to Parliament in 2005 following the Cedar Revolution and shortly before the release of her husband.
Halima Qaqour is the incoming MP in the Mount Lebanon IV constituency for the Social Democrats. She is a professor of business law and business ethics at the Lebanese University. Qaqour has also taught at Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth and the Lebanese International University. She holds a PhD in international public law and human rights from the University of Montpellier.
Najat Saliba is the incoming MP in the Mount Lebanon IV constituency for the independent movement Taqqadom. She is a professor of chemistry and former director of the Nature Conservation Center at the American University of Beirut. She is also the co-founder and executive director of local business incubator Khaddit Beirut. She is also the recipient of the 2019 L’Oreal-UNESCO International Award for Women in Science, the National Order of the Cedar and was named one of the top 100 most influential women by the BBC in 2019. She holds a PhD in surface science from the University of Southern California.
Paula Yacoubian is the incoming MP in the Beirut I constituency, running on the independent party Li Watani’s list. She previously won the same seat in 2018 running on the Tahalof Watani list, becoming the first independent candidate to win. Yacoubian resigned in the wake of the Aug. 4, 2020, Beirut blast. She first came into the public eye in 1995 as a TV host on a number of international and Lebanese television stations, including Future TV.
Cynthia Zarazir is the incoming MP of the Beirut I constituency, running on independent party Li Watani’s list. She is well known for her presence in the Oct. 17 uprising and for the efforts she made to assist those affected by the Aug. 4, 2020 Beirut port explosion.