On September 12, the Government endorsed the country’s first National Action Plan (NAP) to increase the engagement of women in security and peace, while enhancing their protection and leadership. This plan aims to implement Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security, offering a comprehensive national framework for the long term stability and security of Lebanon and a building block for the attainment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security was adopted by the Security Council on 31 October 2000. In Lebanon, in 2017, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers assigned to the National Commission for Lebanese Women the task of developing the first National Action Plan on UN Security Council 1325.
With its endorsement, the plan commits Lebanon to engage women in decision-making in political dialogues and peacebuilding efforts, to increase women’s participation and representation in local and national governance structures as well as to increase women’s representation in the security forces.
According to NCLW, The proposed 1325 NAP for Lebanon includes five strategic priorities that were defined and agreed upon as follows:
Increase the participation of women in decision-making at all levels: in security and defense sectors, in political and public life; in the economy as well as in peace mediations and negotiations.
Engage women in conflict prevention, including raising awareness on human rights and tolerance.
Prevent and protect women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence including strengthening coordination mechanisms between different national institutions to respond effectively to gender-based violence.
Integrate women’s needs and perspectives in all relief and recovery efforts.
Amend, adopt and implement laws and policies that will serve to advance the above priorities.
Lebanon NAP 1325 is a four-year costed plan with a total budget of USD 15,069,616.-, which includes a ten percent contribution from the Government of Lebanon throughout the NAP’s life cycle.
According to the World Economic Forum’s “Global Gender Gap Report 2018,” Lebanon ranked 140th globally among 149 countries when it came to the gender gap, with a gap of more than 90 percent between men and women in managerial positions.
The participation of Lebanese women in political life is still very weak as there are currently only six female MPs out of 128 and four female ministers out of 30. The plan will increase women’s participation in politics, reducing this gap, hopefully.
In the words of NCLW president Mrs. Claudine Aoun Roukoz, NCLW president, “The initiatives included in this plan will help women overcome the difficulties they face during conflicts and participate in efforts to prevent such situations.”
“With this decision, public administrations are committed to working, hand in hand, with commissions and organizations that support women to promote the status of women in society and to eliminate all forms of discrimination they endure. It is a qualitative step that Lebanon is taking towards greater cohesion in society,” Mrs. Claudine Aoun Roukoz explained.
The NAP development process was led by the NCLW and supported by UN Women, ESCWA, OHCHR, UNDP, UNFPA, and UNIFIL through a UN joint initiative (financed by the Governments of Japan and Finland) for which UN Women serves as General Secretariat.
One of NCLW’s main projects is to change the law that prevents Lebanese women from passing their nationality to their children if they are born to a non-Lebanese father. With the NAP, women will have a higher voice and more powers that might finally change this law.
Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon Philippe Lazzarini advanced that “The National Action Plan endorsed today reflects the aspirations and hope of the Lebanese people who have engaged in its development for the society and the country they want to live in for the generation to come. “
“This is an important milestone for Lebanon and again demonstrates the commitment of the government and the people of Lebanon for a more gender-equal society,” Ms. Rachel Dore-Weeks, Head of UN Women Lebanon, said.