Data on The Status of  Women and Girls in Lebanon – UN Women

May 1, 2021


In response to the need for comprehensive insights into the status of women and girls in Lebanon, with a particular focus on the sectors of livelihoods, protection, and governance, UN Women has embarked on a crucial endeavor. This initiative aims to develop a Gender Analysis for Lebanon, intended for the European Union (EU). The primary objective of this document is to conduct a thorough situation analysis of women and girls hailing from diverse backgrounds and regions within Lebanon. Furthermore, it seeks to provide strategic recommendations that will facilitate the implementation of a gender mainstreaming approach during the EU’s upcoming programming cycle spanning from 2021 to 2027. This gender analysis builds upon the valuable findings derived from the most recent gender country profile for Lebanon, collaboratively drafted by UN Women and the World Bank. The analysis is strategically structured to encompass a minimum of three priority areas, aligning with the EU’s programming cycle from 2021 to 2027. These insights will not only aid in the identification of priorities under the GAP III framework but also foster coordination with EU Member States. Additionally, this endeavor will involve the development of a Country Level Implementation Plan (CLIP) through active engagement with civil society organizations and other pertinent stakeholders. The provisional sectors chosen for this analysis include protection, with a specific emphasis on LBQT individuals, elderly women, women with disabilities, and migrant and refugee women. The analysis will also delve into livelihoods and governance, encompassing aspects related to political participation and peace and security. To facilitate this comprehensive analysis, a desk review and analysis of existing studies will serve as the foundation upon which these critical insights will be built.

Triangle’s Assessment:

  • Contextual Analysis: The assessment involved a comprehensive examination of the gender dynamics in Lebanon’s political, economic, and financial landscape. It considered the unique challenges faced by women, including those related to employment, social protection, violence, and political representation. The assessment recognized Lebanon’s diverse population, which includes Lebanese citizens and Syrian refugees, and aimed to provide insights into the specific vulnerabilities and opportunities for women in various regions of the country.
  • Gender & Politics: Lebanon’s political system, characterized by confessionalism, has historically excluded women from political participation, regardless of their qualifications. While Lebanon granted women equal rights in politics in 1953, women faced significant barriers to entry, with minimal representation in Parliament and executive roles. However, there have been some recent positive developments, with more women participating in municipal elections and serving as ministers in the government, signaling progress in women’s political representation.
  • Gender & Human Rights: Women in Lebanon have faced challenges in accessing basic human rights, particularly in matters related to personal status, nationality, workplace discrimination, taxation, and medical services. Lebanon’s complex system of religion-based personal status laws has disproportionately affected women, hindering their ability to initiate divorce, retain custody of their children, and secure financial rights. Despite these challenges, Lebanon has a vibrant feminist movement, and women’s rights have gained recognition, leading to the establishment of institutions like the National Commission for Lebanese Women and the ratification of international conventions like CEDAW.
  • Gender & Economy: Lebanon’s economic challenges, including high levels of poverty, inequality, unemployment, and informal employment, have had a significant impact on women. The informal sector, where many working refugees are employed, poses additional risks to women, including work exploitation, unsafe conditions, and a lack of legal protection. Women in Lebanon have also faced gender-specific barriers in accessing credit and formal financial services. While some women have ventured into entrepreneurship, traditional gender roles and cultural restrictions continue to influence women’s economic choices.
  • Protection Risks & SGBV: Lebanon’s legal framework has struggled to address protection concerns such as domestic violence, marital rape, and honor crimes. Laws related to domestic violence have faced implementation challenges, including limited awareness among women, economic dependence on abusive partners, and refugee status issues. Sexual and gender-based violence remains a significant issue among refugee women, who often refrain from reporting due to legal and socio-economic vulnerabilities.
  • Social Protection Development: Recent developments in Lebanon include efforts to develop a renewed social protection framework, driven by the economic crisis and COVID-19 pandemic. Initiatives like the National Social Solidarity Programme (NSSP) have provided cash assistance to vulnerable households, but gender-specific targeting has been lacking. The government’s social protection plans also aim to expand health coverage, establish a pension system, and implement progressive tax structures. However, gender considerations have not been adequately integrated into these policies.

Data on The Status of  Women and Girls in Lebanon – UN Women


May 2021 

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