Two gender scholars awarded the inaugural Asfari Institute AUB Faculty Research Grants

The Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship is delighted to announce the first cohort of the AUB Faculty Research Grants. This annual grant targets researchers and scholars at the American University of Beirut who are engaged in research around the following thematic areas: civil society, citizenship, feminism, gender, social justice, intersectionality, and/or social movements. It provides opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students to partake in the research and co-author knowledge products.​

In the 2022-23 cohort, two research projects were selected. The first project is “Towards Gender Justice: Unpacking the Antecedents and Barriers to Feminist Collective Action in Lebanon” by Dr. Vivienne Badaan, assistant professor of psychology at the American University of Beirut. Badaan is a social and political psychologist with a broad interest in social justice and equality who received their PhD in social and political psychology from New York University. Badaan enjoys conducting research that is translational, interdisciplinary, and actionable. Their research focuses on collective action (e.g., feminist collective action, student movements), gender injustice (with a focus on the Arab region), prejudice (sexism, racism, sexual prejudice, and religion/sect-based prejudice), and interventions to reduce prejudice (in the field, in the lab, and online). 

Dr. Badaan’s research project explores some of the culturally specific psychological antecedents and barriers to feminist collective action in the context of Lebanon. Despite the increased visibility and salience of the feminist movement in Lebanon, which is the outcome of decades of feminist organizing, many culturally specific barriers to feminist self-identification and collective action still exist. This project aims to investigate, using a mixed-methods approach (semi-structured qualitative interviews, a community survey, and focus group discussions), the predictors and hurdles to feminist collective action in Lebanon, to push forth a culturally sensitive model of feminist collective action, and to devise, via grassroots efforts, solutions to the identified barriers. 

The second research project is “Transformational Leadership in Nonprofit Sector: Role of Women in Disaster Recovery and Mitigation in Developing Context” by Dr. Tania Haddad, assistant professor for public administration and nonprofit management at the American University of Beirut. Haddad is a leading scholar on civil society and volunteering in the Arab World. Her research focuses on the fields of civil society and gender issues, social justice, nonprofit management, volunteering, disaster management, and e-government.  

To date, there is a lack of empirical research that indicates how gender leadership can lead to risk disaster reduction and social changes in Lebanon. Thus, the aim of Dr. Haddad’s research is two-dimensional: namely, to broaden the literature on women’s leadership and disaster management and to identify the significant role of women in building resilience in disaster risk reduction that leads to social change in developing contexts.

This article was originally published here.

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