365 Days of Gender Journey

08 Mar 2017

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:   

"The past year has brought positive progress to the advancement of gender equality in Lebanon. Increasingly louder voices can be heard in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Voices that now need to be translated into concrete political will in Lebanon to transform the situation for women in the country.

Women in Lebanon are still facing discrimination and inequalities, and so unfortunately still do not enjoy full and unconditional parity. Despite being ahead in so many areas such as higher education, with more than 55% of female graduates, and its privileged situation compared to many Arab counterparts, it still lag behind when it comes to gender equality.

We are now at a cornerstone of change here in Lebanon. The new government has made it its key priority to restore trust with citizens. The ministerial statement focused on the promotion of women role in public life and in political participation. It also focuses on refining laws to eliminate all forms of discrimination. To succeed in this endeavor, ensuring the adequate inclusion, protection and representation of women will be key.

There is a lot of progress to build on. In the past year, women (and men) took the streets to protest against Gender Based Violence and advocate for the abolishment of law 522 to criminalize rape; they succeeded in a recommendation by the Justice and Administration Parliamentary Committee to repeal the law though still in need for the Parliament endorsement.
Eleven Lebanese business women were among the top 100 in Arab states recognized for their innovative and entrepreneurial business minds, and five out of the 10 most powerful Arab women are Lebanese working in different socioeconomic sectors. Women expressed their right for political participation during the municipal elections, with marked improvement in comparison to 2010. And significantly, 2016 witnessed for the first time the establishment of a portfolio for Women Affairs within the cabinet, a first tangible sign that there is a political will in Lebanon to make a change.

At the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and jointly with other UN agencies, we are building on this progress. For the past year, we have put gender at the center of an important number of our initiatives, in line with the Sustainable Development Goal No. 5. I am happy to share with you the first issue of our annual newsletter marking the International Women Day. I hope it will provide you with an overview of our main achievements, launched partnerships, internal initiatives, and communication highlights. It will also set the tone for the way forward, as we continue to commit to support the Lebanese government and civil society organizations to pursue the engagement towards gender equality and mainstreaming gender in all aspects of public life, as well as social and economic affairs.

Happy International Women’s Day!"

Philippe Lazzarini
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator

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