File - Raymonde Sakr poses for a photo during an interview with The Daily Star in Beirut, Thursday, April 3, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
A societal challenge
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This is part of a series of weekly articles interviewing pioneering Lebanese women from various sectors.Lebanon's first female public notary's positive attitude and determination has taken her a long way, but she acknowledges that the status of women in the country is far from ideal.Sakr relayed how she was compelled to begin working at an early age after her father suffered a stroke.With only 15 days to cram for a test that others had three months to prepare for, Sakr – 25 at the time – studied day and night.People who walked into Sakr's office could not believe she was a woman, expecting a male public notary with more experience.Sakr also credits part of her success to her husband, whom she mentions often and speaks highly of.Like many successful women, however, Sakr acknowledges the difficulties of being a working mother, exacerbated by the presence of six children at home.Sakr said the issue was particularly important because Lebanese society is still a patriarchal one that dictates that women's place is in the home. According to Sakr, men need to first change their perceptions of women, and get used to them holding leadership positions, in politics and elsewhere.
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