Lebanese American University

Update: Advancement

IWSAW program receives valuable support from OSI

LAU’s InstituOSI.pngte for Women’s Studies in the Arab World (IWSAW), which has worked to improve the prospects of women throughout the Middle East since the 1970s, is receiving strong support from the Open Society Institute. Previous grants from OSI have enabled IWSAW to offer legal counsel for female prisoners, produce a brochure outlining the rights of female domestic workers in Lebanon, and translate Al-Raida into Arabic. Most recently, OSI has given over $200,000 to support the institute’s efforts to train Lebanese law enforcement officials on the treatment of detainees and prisoners.

The project, Capacity Building for Law Enforcement Personnel in Lebanon, aims to train law enforcement personnel on how to interact with detainees and prisoners humanely, by focusing on international treaties, agreements and documents on human rights and the rights of those being detained. In line with its mission in assisting women throughout the Arab world, the workshop will also focus on specific needs and differences between men and women, from the psychological to the physiological. A hundred trainees will benefit from the program, which is also being supported by the Restart Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture. 
Upon the completion of the workshops, IWSAW will also distribute training material to all governmental agencies and NGOs working with the country’s prison population, so that more people working in the Lebanese law enforcement system will benefit from the information; it will also select trainers from among the first group of trainees, to continue educating their colleagues about the best practices for the treatment of detainees.
“This grant offers a wonderful opportunity for the institute to deepen and expand the valuable work that it has been doing for so long in Lebanese prisons,” said Susan Cergol, LAU’s  Associate Director of Development whose work helped to secure the grant. “I am pleased that such a respected organization like OSI is lending its support.”
The project is part of IWSAW’s longstanding mission to advocate for women throughout the Arab world. The institute is responsible for a quarterly academic magazine featuring female writers, Al-Raida, along with brochures that explain the rights of domestic workers who are employed in Lebanese households. IWSAW has previously worked to improve the prospects of women in prison, by giving vital supplies, providing income-generating workshops and securing legal assistance for inmates, with the help of OSI.


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