Areas of work and programmes - Lebanon

Amira Abi Khalil, beneficiary of UN Women’s Gender Equality Fund. Photo: UN Women/Joe Saade


UN Women in Lebanon works across the humanitarian-development-peace and security nexus to support national efforts for the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. To create an enabling environment for the realization of gender equality and women’s empowerment, UN Women advocates and supports social mobilization for legislative reform, works with the Government of Lebanon and partners to build gender responsive institutions, and delivers essential services to women and girls in need - host government nationals and refugees. This is complemented by work that seeks to engage communities, women and men, on issues of gender equality with the objective of addressing discriminatory gender norms.

This work is done through the following focus areas:

  • Women’s Economic Empowerment – with a focus on building resilience across the humanitarian-development next, complemented with protection services.
  • Women’s Political Participation
  • Women, Peace and Security
  • Social Norms work – to engage men and women in issues of gender equality.

Work to address violence against women is mainstreamed throughout all of this work.

Women’s Economic Empowerment

Since 2015, UN Women’s WEE work in Lebanon seeks to build women’s engagement in the labour market and the economy. Former and on-going projects utilize skills development, combined with job placement, cash-for-work, and entrepreneurship support to create economic opportunities and pathways to sustainable employment – targeting Lebanese nationals, Syrian refugees and Palestinian refugees. To promote holistic approaches to WEE, this is completed through the provision of protection referrals, awareness raising on gender-based violence, and first aid and self-defense classes.

For a longer brief on the work we do in this area, please click here.

In 2018, to promote a gender-responsive business environment UN Women, with Global Compact in Lebanon launched the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs), to which over 20 companies in Lebanon have signed to date. Follow up support is being provided by Global Compact, UN Women, the World Bank and the Government of Canada. Moreover, UN Women, with partners such as UNDP among others, are supporting the Government of Lebanon to develop its National Action Plan on women’s economic empowerment (linked to the World Bank Mashreq facility).

Fund for Gender Equality

UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality (FGE) is a global initiative that provides high impact grants channeled directly to civil society work in order to propel women’s political and economic empowerment across the Sustainable Development Goals, and has been operating in Lebanon since 2011. Considering this wealth of experience, knowledge and its value proposition to reach women and girls furthest left behind, the Fund in Lebanon continues its successful approach to field programming in remote, challenging and complex settings. In this work it focuses on rural communities, targeting Lebanese women, migrant and refugee women (Syrian, Palestinian, Sudanese and Iraqis), building their resilience in fragile contexts.

For a longer brief on the work we do in this area, please click here.

In this work, the Fund has reached a total of 36,000 women in need across the country through creating an incubator programme for women’s CSOs, to address social norms and reach people who had been left behind. In this the fund continues to help vulnerable women transition from small-scale, home-based production to leading profitable social enterprises, with access to markets, in addition to strengthening decision making capabilities and promote participation in public spheres.

For more information on the Fund, please visit

Women, peace and security 

UN Women Lebanon’s programme “Implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325: Participation, Prevention, Protection and Relief and Recovery” (2019-2021) builds on UN Women’s global expertise and leadership on issues of women, peace and security. It works to support the Government of Lebanon on the passage and implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) 1325; at increasing women’s participation in the security and defense sectors and ensuring security institutions have increased gender sensitivity; at increasing women’s participation in local mediation efforts to decrease tensions and creating early warning and conflict prevention mechanisms; and at increasing women and girls’ protection through the provision of quality multi-sectoral services and aware­ness raising.

For a longer brief on the work we do in this area, please click here.

UN Women serves as General Secretariat for a joint initiative with five UN agencies (OHCHR, UNDP, UN ESCWA, UNFPA and UNIFIL) that supports the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW) in the de­velopment of the country’s first National Action Plan on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. From 2017, UN Women in Lebanon has pro­vided technical support to an inclusive, participatory process that resulted in the draft Lebanon National Action Plan for the implementation of UNSCR 1325, pending national endorsement. In 2018, UN Women and UNIFIL, embarked on a pilot project to train more than thirty women in South Lebanon in acquiring mediation and negotiation skills.

Women Political Participation

In 2018 UN Women implemented an elections support roadmap for the 2018 Parliamentary Elections, in close collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme and national stakeholders including the Office of the Minister of State for Women’s Affairs.

For a longer brief on the work we do in this area, please click here.

Activities were implemented prior to the 2018 parliamentary elections to promote women in politics in Lebanon and to support women’s participation in elections at all levels. In this context, a public awareness campaign aimed at enhancing Women’s Participation in Elections was scheduled; a technical assistance was provided including information sessions and technical assistance sessions to aspirants and voters; media agencies and personnel were gender sensitized; and policy decision makers were provided with evidence-based information on measures to boost women’s participation. 

In 2019, UN Women is focusing on support to the implementation of the CEDRE roadmap, and women’s engagement in local government and the civil service.

Men and Women for Gender equality

To complement its legislative advocacy work with efforts to address social norms at the family and community level, UN Women in Lebanon is implementing, “Men and Women for Gender Equality, Phase II” (2015-2018), funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), which tackles the root causes of gender inequality as identified by The International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) Lebanon.

For a longer brief on the work we do in this area, please click here.

The project addresses social norms, legislation and policies related to gender inequality. In its phase I, Lebanon IMAGES study was completed and launched while community-based and national level consultations around its findings were organized to develop models to address social norm changing at the community level. Two advocacy campaigns on banning child marriage in the law and the right of Lebanese women to grant their nationality to their husbands and children were launched leading to the submission of revised laws for endorsement by the Parliament. Four policy briefs on engaging men in achieving gender equality were produced.

Phase II focuses on implementing and replicating interventions for challenging social norms and promoting gender equality, while supporting civil society organizations to advocate for legal and policy change based on the IMAGES research findings.


Partnerships and coordination with the UN system and external actors including national institutions, CSOs, I/NGOS, academia, among others is an integral part of UN Women’s work in advancing the GEWE agenda, by working with key stakeholders to combine expertise and resources and be a driving force for progress in gender relations. UN Women works to promotes more effective coordination, coherence and gender mainstreaming across the UN system and with partners, in support of commitments for gender equality and women’s empowerment, by working through mechanisms such as Gender Working Groups and other networks.


Read our Impact Brief 2018 here.

UN Women works across the humanitarian, development, peace and security nexus to support national efforts to accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals in Lebanon. We work with national actors, development partners, civil society and academia in building an enabling policy and social environment for women’s empowerment, and in addressing root causes of gender inequality. This includes gender-responsive service delivery interventions for Lebanese and refugee communities.