UN Women Statement in Response to Women’s Representation in New Lebanese Cabinet

Date: Friday, September 10, 2021

Beirut, Lebanon - UN Women welcomes the formation of the new Government of Lebanon announced on September 10, 2021 as a necessary and important step in addressing the country’s deep economic crisis.

We congratulate Ambassador Najla Riachi on her appointment as Minister of State for Administrative reform, however her being the only woman in the cabinet is of great concern. This marks a decrease from thirty percent women in cabinet appointed in 2019 to a disappointing four percent. This mirrors the strikingly low level of women’s representation across political and public office in the country, with women currently occupying less than five percent of parliamentary seats and making up less than six percent municipal councilors. 

There is no shortage of female leaders and experts across the range of fields in Lebanon. Moreover, with women playing leading roles in relief efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Beirut port explosion, and the economic crisis, they deserve to be represented in the decisions made on the country’s future. Equally, their engagement is fundamental for the advancement and recovery of the country. 

Women’s rights activists have fought for their rights and have made important progress. These hard-won gains should not be reversed or rolled back in the face of crisis. 

UN Women calls on the newly formed cabinet to take into consideration that inclusivity and equitable participation are at the heart of good governance. We will continue to support and empower women in Lebanon in their struggle for representation, equal rights and basic services.