Social Protection in Lebanon, From a Gender Perspective
Lebanon has one of the highest gender gaps in the world, ranking 145 out of 153 countries in the World Economic Forum Gender Gap report 2020. This comes as a result of legal frameworks and cultural barriers that shape women’s experiences. Women across the country suffer from discrimination, underrepresentation, and inexistent gender supportive policies and mechanisms, including when it comes to accessing social protection assistance where there is no concrete or reliable policy or institutional framework in place. Social protection has gradually become recognized as critical for countries to alleviate poverty, reduce vulnerability, and drive forward inclusive development. There is also significant research to show that social protection can narrow gender gaps in poverty rates, enhance women’s income security and access to personal income, and provide a lifeline for poor women, especially single mothers.
This baseline report, commissioned to Beyond Group by UN Women, comes at a time of deep structural crisis in Lebanon, and at a time when the Government of Lebanon has stated a commitment to develop its first comprehensive social protection framework. The report serves as a preliminary assessment of key gender issues, needs, gaps, and priorities within social protection programs in Lebanon. It categorizes and identifies the nine priority themes of social protection in Lebanon from a gender lens, which will be further discussed in upcoming policy position papers.