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The European Union’s “Joint Staff Working Document - Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment: Transforming the Lives of Girls and Women through EU External Relations 2016-2020”, or Gender Action Plan (GAP II) for the period 2016-2020, stresses the need for full and equal realisation of women’s and girls’ human rights and fundamental freedoms, the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The European Union is fully committed to break the cycle of gender discrimination by supporting partner countries to establish a more enabling environment for the fulfilment of girls' and women's rights and to achieve real and tangible improvements in gender equality.
The European Union Delegation to Lebanon commissioned a Gender Analysis to provide insight into whether gender inequalities persist in Lebanon. The Gender Analysis looks into the causes of identified inequalities, how they intersect with other inequalities and how they impact on human rights enjoyment and/or benefits produced by, and access to, development efforts. The Gender Analysis is also expected to provide an understanding of the Lebanese government’s commitment and capacity to work on gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE) issues.
This Situation Analysis (SA) report describes the key findings and recommendations focusing on:
Under the guidance of the European Union Delegation, the expert team consisting of Elena Ferreras Carreras (team leader) and Gulnar Wakim (gender and youth expert) gathered information mainly through meetings and consultations with relevant stakeholders.
The team leader undertook a desk review of available recent studies, secondary sources and statistics regarding gender equality and gender mainstreaming related to Lebanon.
This report highlights relevant recommendations and strategies, in line with GAP II to be included in future EU funded Programme(s).
In 2014, following a campaign by women’s and feminist organisations, the parliament passed Law 293 on the Protection of Women and Family Members Against Domestic Violence. The bill that passed was an amendment to one suggested by the coalition of civil society organisations.
At the institutional level, the Office of the Minister of State for Women’s Affairs (OMSWA) was created in December 2016. OMSWA has developed its National Strategy for Gender Equality (NGS) 2018-2022, which was developed with technical assistance from the EUD. OMSWA is responsible for coordinating actions between relevant stakeholders and to ensure the implementation of the NGS. However, despite much advancement, it is found that there are still inequalities and gaps.
The key findings observed further in this report related to GBV, include the overlapping of some donors’ interventions (especially related to the elaboration of strategies, manuals and communication products); lack of coordination among actors; lack of data (about GBV prevalence); the need for a robust and reliable referral system; the need for common messages; and, the need of engaging men and boys in the fight on GBV. In relation to economic empowerment, the key findings are the existence of a restrained market; skills mismatch between the market and potential employees/workers; and, the role of social norms inhibiting women’s access to employment and entrepreneurship.
Two showcases of good practices are included in this report, such as the experience of angel investors of the Lebanese League for Women in Business (LLWB) and the experience of an entrepreneur (designer) working with underprivileged women who are empowered economically and socially through working for this brand.
The recommendations provided for possible EU support and intervention within the framework of the Single Support Framework 2017-2020 (SSF) for Lebanon are in line with the priorities identified in the NGS 2018-2022, drafted recently by the OMSWA.
On GBV, the main recommendations stated in this report, are to promote a sustainable and efficient coordination of actors and the establishment of a strong and reliable referral system. The establishment of a gender observatory could be the framework for better coordination and collection of best practices, resources and lessons learned. Regarding entrepreneurship, the main recommendations are to create synergies with the private sector and to go beyond training towards employment and the creation of enterprises (even micro). A potential financial support for community based initiatives could promote income generation and the empowerment of women and their families.