Press release: Japan supports UN Women’s recovery efforts in Lebanon

Date: Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Distribution of dignity kits in Geitawi, following the Beirut August 2020 Explosion. Picture: UN Women- Dar Al Mussawir

Beirut, 13 April 2021 - The Government of Japan has allocated USD 786,909 to the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in Lebanon to support women’s protection and economic recovery from the impact of the Lebanon’s economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Beirut Port explosion.

This contribution provided to UN Women’s Economic Empowerment work aims at providing urgent cash assistance through cash for work modalities supplemented by a technical training to increase future employability and entrepreneurship opportunities for women. These will be carried out in tandem with protection interventions that together will help to create enabling conditions for women empowerment and increased gender equality.

The escalating economic crisis in Lebanon poses historic threats to the population of Lebanon, and has already provoked a roll-back in the status of women and gender equality indicators in Lebanon, with levels of violence against women rising, unpaid care increasing and women exiting the labour market at rates higher than men. 

In June 2021, UN Women estimated that the combined effects of job loss and rising economic inactivity amongst women in Lebanon has caused 106,750 women to be left out of the labour market. Against the backdrop of the country’s compound crisis, women often turn to negative coping strategies and are at a disadvantage in negotiating equal treatment, protection of the fundamental rights and ensuring their protection from violence.

With generous support from the Government of Japan, UN Women will seek to engage, advise and influence national recovery efforts to ensure that efforts to rebuild the economy are grounded in gender equality by increasing access to livelihoods opportunities and essential protection services for  vulnerable women.

H.E. Mr. Okubo Takeshi, Ambassador of Japan to Lebanon, said: “Japan is taking a global initiative to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in close partnership with UN Women. In Lebanon, where the multiple crises are affecting the vulnerable segment of the communities, we continue to support mitigating the impact of the deteriorating situation on women while contributing to longer-term efforts to increase women’s roles in the society.”

Rachel Dore-Weeks, Head of UN Women Lebanon, said: “The Government of Japan has been steadfast in its support to UN Women in Lebanon and in ensuring that together we address issues of structural gender inequalities, while also meeting the urgent needs of women and girls in the country – contributing to the wellbeing of their families and communities. This support has, and continues, to positively impact the lives of thousands across the country and remains a sign of Japan’s deep commitment to Lebanon.”

The Government of Japan has been a key partner of UN Women since its establishment. The partnership between UN Women and Japan covers many areas, through several programmes implemented in developing countries, policy dialogue, and collaboration around key international conferences on Gender equality and the empowerment of women. In Lebanon, the partnership between UN Women and Japan has already benefited thousands of women and girls and is ongoing to generate change in the lives of people in their communities.

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For inquiries on this release, please contact: 

Roula Rached, UN Women Lebanon, roula.rached@unwomen.org