Beirut, 29 May 2013
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN) have prepared a study on: “Policies to Empower Women in the Arab Region: Combating Violence against Women and Girls” with support from the Norwegian Embassy in Lebanon. The study aims to contribute to the evidence base for continued work on gender based violence by examining the specific scope of certain types and areas of violence within the domestic sphere, as well as the legal system that responds to these categories of violence. Together with insights gained from global research and evaluations, the study is expected to generate policy recommendations to Member States to scale up their commitment in order to end violence against women towards the achievement of gender equality in the Arab region.
To discuss and assess the key findings of the report and to examine policy recommendations directed to various stakeholders, an expert group meeting will be organized on 30-31 May 2013 at the UN-House, Riad El-Solh Square, Beirut. The meeting, which will open at 9:00 on Thursday 30 May, is intended to an interactive forum to provide constructive and substantive comments on the draft study.
The United Nations system has been increasingly focusing its efforts on eliminating gender-based violence as an essential requirement to implement successful development policies and national legislations built on a coherent rights-based approach. Within this international framework, ESCWA works closely with its member countries to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment. The ESCWA Fifth Session of the Committee on Women, held in December 2011, resulted in drafting “The Beirut Declaration” with recommendations to fill the gaps through evidence-based research and through examination of existing legislations and services.
ESCWA is one of the five UN regional commissions. It provides a framework for the formulation and harmonization of sectoral policies for member countries; a platform for congress and coordination; a home for expertise and knowledge, and an information observatory. ESCWA aims at supporting economic and social cooperation between the region’s countries and promoting development process in order to achieve regional integration.
Libya, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Tunisia became members of ESCWA in September 2012. By this new membership, the number of ESCWA countries rose to 17, including: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, The Sudan, The Syrian Arab Republic, The United Arab Emirates and Yemen.