Working to Enhance Inclusion of Women in Peace and Stability Processes
Lebanon’s recent history is rife with war, instability, and political and religious tensions – from the 1958 crisis, to the 15,5-year-long civil war, to the widespread polarisation created by the Cold War, and, most recently, the direct political unrest and humanitarian consequences of the Syrian crisis.Moreover, despite the fact that women and girls in Lebanon are often severely affected by the country’s ongoing challenges, they have very little say in political decision-making.
WILPF and our partners in Lebanon have been working to address these challenges both at the grassroots and institutional levels, through participatory approaches that aim to enhance the inclusion of women in peace and stability processes.Additionally, WILPF section in Lebanon, founded in 1962, currently focuses its work on providing Syrian women living in refugee camps with the opportunity to acquire skills in resolution of daily conflicts within their communities.
“Conflict is natural. Violence is a choice.”
Masculinities Technical Advisor at ABAAD
WILPF’s partner in Lebanon, ABAAD, is a non-profit, non-politically affiliated, non-confessional association founded in 2011 that aims to achieve gender equality as an essential condition to sustainable peace, democracy, and social and economic development in the MENA region.
Addressing the Root Causes of Violence
In 2019, Abaad, WILPF, and the MenEngage Alliance organised an event called “Patriarchal Masculinity, Militarism, and the WPS Agenda” on the margins of the 63rd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York.
The panelists identified best practices for engaging men to transform mainstream narratives surrounding masculinity and power.
Anthony Keedi of ABAAD emphasised the need to change our framework from “power over’” to “power with.”
ABAAD on the Steering Committee of the Lebanon 1325 NAP
Lebanon adopted its first National Action Plan (NAP) in 2019 to be implemented for the 2019-2022 period.
The NAP was developed by a steering committee, in which ABAAD was the only civil society organisation represented.
The objectives of the NAP reflect the pillars of UNSCR 1325, with specific focus on increasing women’s full participation in decision-making processes in the political, diplomatic, and economic domains, as well as in the security and defense sectors.
On-the-Ground Support for SGBV Survivors
As part of WILPF-ABAAD’s joint project “Growing The Movement for Feminist Peace in the Mena Region,” ABAAD provides multi-sectoral services for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) as well as women and girls who are at-risk of or affected by any form of violence due to conflict.
ABAAD Women and Girls Safe Spaces (WGSS) services, which are present throughout the country (North, Bekaa, South, Beirut, and Mount Lebanon), were strategically selected to ensure geographical diversity and facilitate the organisation’s ability to reach women in different areas of Lebanon.
Through WGSS, ABAAD provides holistic care (case management, legal consultations, court representation, Clinical Management of Rape (CMR) services, psychotherapy, psychiatric evaluation and follow up), in addition to referrals to emergency safe housing and soft skills/economic empowerment training.
At ABAAD’s Mid-Way Houses, free and temporary safe shelters are provided for women at risk of or survivors of SGBV, located in three different governorates in Lebanon.