Stories

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Montaha Jaber, 55, has been living in the Bekaa region most of her life. Determined to gain independence and make ends meet, she took a job at UN Women and Acted’s new menstrual hygiene production facility, which was starting a new line producing quality and affordable women’s sanitary products. Trained as a manufacturer, Montaha reflects on her work and the mission of challenging social taboos around women’s reproductive health.
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Rima Al Hamra, 50, is the Director of the Hasbaya Development Services Center, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Social Affairs and is located in the South of Lebanon, where armed clashes have been witnessed along the Blue Line over the past several months. She is also one of 240 local women peacebuilders who are trained to become local community mediators, as part of UN Women’s “Women, Peace and Security in the Arab States Phase III” project, which is being implemented in partnership with the Professional Mediation Centre of Saint Joseph University (CPM-USJ) and International Alert, with generous support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.
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Gender-based violence remains a pervasive problem in Lebanon, impacting women and girls across various domains. Despite legal frameworks, cultural norms contribute to a culture of silence, making it challenging for survivors to seek help. In 2023, UN Women partnered with the local NGO KAFA (Enough) Violence & Exploitation to establish a women’s protection committee aimed at raising awareness about GBV, the protection from sexual exploitation and abuse and accountability to affected populations.
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The Government of Austria has contributed EUR 1,000,000 towards UN Women in Lebanon’s humanitarian efforts to support women and girls in South Lebanon impacted by the escalation in hostilities across the Blue Line. The financial assistance will be channeled into a project implemented by UN Women to enhance the resilience, self-reliance and leadership in humanitarian action of internally displaced women through access to comprehensive livelihood and protection services.
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The Women Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) is launching its fourth round of funding in Lebanon. The WPHF call for proposals will be focused on a) the protection of women and girls, and b) Peacebuilding & Recovery. This call for proposals also provides an opportunity for civil society organizations working on the implementation of commitments related to Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action (WPSHA) in Lebanon to apply for institutional funding that will be used to strengthen and sustain their capacities.
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In 2023, Suzan joined UN Women's established community kitchen within the Beddawi camp as an outreach worker, raising awareness on cooking on a budget and providing hot meals to families living in vulnerability as part of UN Women’s “Humanitarian Assistance to Women by Women: Women at Work to Reduce Period Poverty and Food Insecurity in the Lebanon Crisis” project, which aims to provide women with cash-for-work opportunities through the production and distribution of hot meals to families in need.
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Today on 8 March, International Women’s Day, the United Nations rallies behind the call to “Invest in women: Accelerate progress”, aligned with the priority theme for the upcoming 68th Commission on the Status of Women CSW68.
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On the occasion of International Women's Day, the Government of Australia renewed its commitment to gender equality in Lebanon through signature of a new agreement with UN Women Lebanon worth 1,500,000 Australian dollar to extend humanitarian assistance to over 4,300 women, girls, men and boys from diverse backgrounds across three governorates in Lebanon.
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To mark International Women’s Day 2024, UN Women and the embassies of Finland, Norway and Switzerland in Lebanon, joined forces to showcase the pioneering roles of women fostering peace and security across Lebanon and to discuss the relevance, challenges and progress in implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Lebanon, in particular amid ongoing crises and conflict. The event also sheds light on the situation of women in the South of Lebanon, their needs, and their roles in the humanitarian relief response.
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Wadad Halawani is a civil activist and founder of the Committee of the Families of the Kidnapped and Missing in Lebanon. She has also been appointed a member of the National Commission for the Missing and Forcibly Disappeared Persons in Lebanon which was established by law 105/1980. As a result of Lebanon’s 1975-1990 Civil War, it is estimated that over 17,000 people, over 90 percent of which were men, were missing or forcibly disappeared. Most were never heard of again, including Wadad’s husband, who went missing in 1982. Since his disappearance, Wadad has made it her mission to unite, amplify, and advocate for the voices of women, families, and victims of the kidnapped and missing from across Lebanon.
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Cosette Nakhle, 49, is a social worker and Head of the Local Development Bureau at the municipality of Chiyah. Through certified training provided via the support of UN Women and its partners, the Professional Mediation Center (CPM) at the University of Saint-Joseph and International Alert, Cosette has made it her mission to promote peace in her community through her newly acquired mediation skills.
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Tala, 46, from Shalfeh, Tripoli, Lebanon, is a survivor of gender-based violence and has experienced feeling unsafe in both the public and private spheres. However, through self-defense at Markazouna Center, she is turning her fear into strength, which has allowed her to become a pillar and advocate for ending violence against women and girls in her community.
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Rajaa Ibrahim Zaarour is an inspiring example of strength and transformation in the face of adversity. Rajaa's narrative unfolds against the backdrop of familial responsibility as she dedicates herself to caring for her 88-year-old father. She participated in a community kitchen supported by UN Women where she received cash-for-work for 60 days.
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The United Nations (UN) system in Lebanon in partnership with the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW) have come together to kick off the international campaign on 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence to galvanize efforts to prevent and ultimately end the scourge of violence against women and girls, which is escalating amid the current multi-layered crisis.
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Hwaida Turk, PhD, is the first woman interim Mohafez (governor) in Lebanon. She was appointed on 17 July 2023 to the southern Governorate of Nabatieh. She spoke to UN Women about the recent escalation of tensions between Israel and Palestine that have displaced nearly 20,000 people from South Lebanon, and how she is handling the humanitarian response.
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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women, together with the Government of Canada, partnered with the Arab Institute for Women (AiW) at the Lebanese American University (LAU) and launched the "Women in Leadership" project at the LAU premises.
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UN Women Lebanon launched its first podcast series “UN Women Podcasts” to amplify the voices of women and girls in Lebanon and celebrate their remarkable achievements in multiple fields and the challenges that lie ahead.
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Lebanon has witnessed since the civil war (1975-1990) a series of conflicts that fueled tensions. This violent past has gone undealt with. To address the wounds of violence in Lebanon, a UN-supported program entitled "Dealing with the Past: Memory for the Future" works on fostering cross-community dialogue and peace and seeks to promote and support reconciliation, re-establishing dignity for victims of war as well as restoring peace and preventing conflicts.
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The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS), the Government of Japan, and the Municipality of Tripoli inaugurated the recently rehabilitated and reactivated “Markazouna”, a Multipurpose Community Centre in Shalfeh, Tripoli.
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In a calm neighborhood nestled between the busy streets of Mar Mikhael in Beirut, a heartwarming haven known as ‘Access Kitchen’ flourished. It is Lebanon’s first community kitchen led and run by a group of women with disabilities. It provides income-generating jobs for 58 women and offers daily 138 hot meals to vulnerable people in nearby areas.