Women leaders - clear and practical examples to follow
Jamilee Doueihy is the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Regional Program Officer at IFRC Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She joined the movement in 2014 as a volunteer within the Emergency Medical Services at the Lebanese Red Cross and has been active to present. Jamilee joined the Red Cross Red Crescent (RCRC) movement because she believes in the humanitarian mission of the movement and has seen its great impact ever since she began as a volunteer in the field; it even shaped who she is as a person.
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For the past 5 years, I have been working in WASH, starting my field experience with the Lebanese Red Cross as a WASH Officer. During this time, I took part in the design and implementation of many WASH projects for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Joining the IFRC, I have extended my Emergency WASH experience and have taken the lead on the Regional WASH Technical Working Group where different movement components join us regularly to share experiences, innovation and explore specific WASH subjects. Working for the Red Cross Red Crescent has greatly shifted Jamilee’s academic and career goals, motivating her to work with communities to improve their health prevention. She majored in Public Health, which made Jamilee a more understanding and empathetic person.

“I dream of equal opportunities across the humanitarian field, which will in turn lead to efficient and equal access to services for the communities we serve”.

– Jamilee Doueihy, Lebanon

Responding to what Jamilee has learned from being a woman leader in the humanitarian field, Jamilee states that “women in the humanitarian field work directly with communities and can influence to an even greater extent the importance of promoting gender equality in job opportunities, in leadership roles, in services provision especially in emergency settings. They will be a very practical and clear example to follow!”.

Jamilee thinks that the main challenges that women face in taking leadership positions or making positive changes in the Red Cross Red Crescent are that despite the RCRC movement encouraging more women to lead in the humanitarian field, “we still have a long way to go through influencing deeply rooted misconceptions and cultural beliefs within societies toward the roles women can take”. These concepts affect recruitment of women, equal salaries, promotions and more. However, Jamilee states that by “promoting more advocacy within the movement for strengthening women leadership and related policy, what GLOW Red is doing, we can affect change”.

In conclusion, Jamilee dreams of equal opportunities across the humanitarian field, which will in turn lead to efficient and equal access to services for the communities we serve.

Jamilee Doueihy

Lebanon, 2014

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Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 per cent more likely to outperform competition.

– McKinsey & Co. (2015)

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