(Tuesday, April 2, 2019) In the presence of Minister of Social Affairs, Dr. Richard Kouyoumjian, Ambassador of Canada to Lebanon, H.E. Ms. Emmanuelle Lamoureux, Executive Director of Middle East Development Programming, Mr. Gavin Buchan, and UNDP Resident Representative, a.i. Ms. Celine Moyroud, a new initiative was launched today under the title “Women’s Economic Participation – WEP.” This project is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs within the framework of the Lebanon Host Communities Support Programme – LHSP and with support from the Government of Canada.
The project aims to address women’s limited access to, control of, and ability to benefit from economic opportunities.
At the beginning of the event, Ms. Moyroud said: “a change in behaviour and challenging women stereotypes will be the key focus of our work for this intervention.” She thanked the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs and the Government of Canada and added: “I am very excited that we are launching this initiative as a continuation of our work in line with the Sustainable Development Agenda where gender equality is a cross-cutting issue.”
H.E. Ambassador Lamoureux said: “Thank you to the minister for his continued support to gender equality and livelihood-related programming and congratulations to UNDP and its partners for the commencement of this important project.”
In turn, Dr. Kouyoumjian thanked the Government of Canada for their support to Lebanon, and UNDP for a fruitful partnership, “Women’s economic participation is an important part of the role of women in enhancing public life in Lebanon,” he stated. “Recent studies show that reducing gender gaps in economic activity leads to big microeconomic benefits. In Lebanon, closing the gap in participation rates by 25% can boost GDP by 9%,” he concluded.
The project will support 3000 women in Lebanon through training and coaching programs, and will also support 20 municipalities, 12 startups, and 40 SMEs and cooperatives that will contribute to enhancing women’s economic participation.