CRTD.A|| National Knowledge Sharing Seminar on Active Citizenship, Gender and Social Entitlements || 12 December 2012

Wed, 12/12/2012

Some 78 activists, practitioners and researchers took part in CRTD.A’s National Knowledge Sharing Seminar entitled "Research Sharing Seminar on Active Citizenship, Gender and Social Entitlements" and which was held on 12 December 2012 at the YWCA

venue in Ain el Mreisseh. The seminar was the culmination of six years of research, fact finding and monitoring of the understanding and practice of active citizenship and social entitlements as well as the size, topography and role of Faith Based Organizations in Lebanon.

Three researches and a conceptual overview were presented. The conceptual overview provided a framework of the key definitions used to guide this work, namely the definitions of citizenship, social entitlements, and gender equality. The definitions reflected CRTD.A’s own set of values and beliefs. The first research presented related to a qualitative study involving more than 1600 women participants from various parts of Lebanon and which explored the challenges they face in accessing their entitlements to health, education services and social welfare, the role that the state and NGOs played in these three sectors and what possible entry points can be envisaged to strengthen access to social entitlements through strengthening active citizenship. The subsequent studies included an up to date mapping of faith based organisations involved in health and education in Lebanon in addition to an overview of the role they play in these two sectors and the size of their coverage. This was followed by a review of an in-depth qualitative research covering a sample of12 FBOs working in the field of education and health in Lebanon and which provided highlights about the ways in which they practice governance, their involvement in policy formulation, the way in which they define citizenship and gender equality and how this definition permeate their practices. Each of the presentation was followed by interactive debates which reflected participants’ interest and involvement in the issue at hand. Aside from a lone voice justifying the importance and goodness of the confessional system, the seminar participants agreed that the confessional system is a key obstacle towards the realization of inclusive citizenship and gender equality as well as an obstacle to the state taking on its full role as a duty bearer. A number of suggestions were put forward to challenge the confessional system with a view to realizing citizenship rights and gender equality.