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Major Suzan El Hajj, first woman to join security forces, defends women’s capabilities and rights


The Daily Star newspaper published, last Monday, an interview with Major Suzan El Hajj, the head of the Cyber Crime and Intellectual Property Protection Office of the Internal Security Forces, as part of its weekly interviews with pioneer Lebanese women from various sectors.
Hajj was born and raised in a small town in the northern district of Kura. She graduated from Balamand University, majored in computer and communications engineering and holds a master’s degree in computer science. She became the first woman officer to join the ranks of the ISF in 2001 when her father, who was also a member of the ISF, spotted a recruitment notice in computer and communications which did not specify that only males could apply for the position.
During her work at the ISF, Hajj created the “Rights, Equality and Diversity Bureau” to ensure that the concerns of officers and minorities in particular, including women, are relayed to the government, though the office has yet to be formally established.
In another vein, Hajj emphasized that Lebanese associations rallying for women’s rights need to join force under one umbrella to achieve changes on a large scale. She also pointed out that, women should make sure that progress continuous in all fields, especially in the realm of local government, stressing that: “when people see and accept a woman as mayor and understand that she was truly elected, the scope for seeing more women in Parliament will no longer be a far-fetched idea. Finally Hajj called on young girls to never give up hopes for success, regardless of difficulties, adding that young girls need to become their own role models in this day and age.
Source: The Daily Star 12 May 2014

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