365 Days of Gender Journey - 2018

08 Mar 2018

On this special day, we are pleased to share with you the UNDP “365 Days of Gender Journey” newsletter 2018 issue.

Below, is UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Philippe Lazzarini's word for the occasion: 

"A year has passed since the release of the first edition of our annual newsletter that marks the International Women Day.

The past year spotted important progress in advancing gender equality agenda. At the same time, it witnessed set-backs, especially in terms of reforming the electoral law and including a women quota.

Looking at this year in retrospective, I applaud, despite related loopholes, what the women’s rights activists had long demanded - the parliament’s repeal of article 522 of the penal code, under which rapists who marry their victims are exempted from punishment. I also welcome the reform of the municipal electoral law, providing women with the opportunity to choose to vote in their own constituency rather than that of their spouse. This period was also marked by the many achievements of the national women machinery, with which UN agencies have proudly partnered; this includes the development of a gender equality strategy based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and a strategy to combat violence against women. Equally important is the act of drafting laws to eliminate discrimination against women and encouraging the cabinet to nominate women in high and leadership levels of administrative positions. Finally, it is worth to mention the establishment of mechanisms to develop a national action plan to implement the UN Security Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security, and to engage actively with civil society on many priorities for women.

Despite the efforts exerted so far to improve the situation, Women in Lebanon are still facing discrimination and inequalities. The 53% of the Lebanese population, is under represented, and is actually almost exclusively represented by men. The new electoral law that passed in June 2017, includes many reforms, but not any form of special temporary measure to encourage women to participate. This failure suggests that stronger political will and commitment and more ambitious measures are needed to boost women’s political participation and empowerment. Civil society agents have taken the lead in providing women with opportunities and space to actively participate in elections, as candidates and voters. The coming months are critical in Lebanon to break the glass and make a real difference. As a first encouraging sign, among the nearly 1000 candidates running for the 2018 parliamentary elections, 111 are women, an all-time record; in 2009, only 12 were registered. This offers a new momentum to vote for more women and increase their chances of participation in the parliament.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), jointly with other UN agencies, will continue building on these transformations, and will continue to place gender equality at the front of programmatic and operational priorities. and we will continue to strive to make SDG No. 5 “Gender Equality” a national priority. We believe that by empowering women, the state will experience less conflict and more stability and prosperity. To reach that end, social, economic, and political equality should remain a core priority.

The second issue of the newsletter will provide you with insight on UNDP’s work in the past 365 days set the tone for the way forward towards gender equality.

Happy International Women’s Day!"

Philippe Lazzarini

UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator

UNDP Resident Representative

On this special day, we are pleased to share with you the UNDP- newsletter “the 365 Days of Gender Journey” IWD2017.

Below, is UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Philippe Lazzarini's word for the occasion:   

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