Women’s Economic Empowerment

Photo: UN Women/ Joe Saade

Women’s economic empowerment is critical to achieving gender equality, inclusive economic growth, development, and poverty reduction in Lebanon.

UN Women’s economic empowerment portfolio was initiated in response to the impact of the Syrian crisis in Lebanon. It works across the humanitarian-development nexus to build the economic resilience of Lebanese and refugee women, employing a holistic approach which combines skills development, income generation programmes, and protection services, alongside work on legal and policy reform to create a stronger enabling environment for women.


• At the macro level, UN Women works with partners to support the government and private sector in the formulation of gender sensitive policies and legislation that seeks to enhance women’s economic participation and strengthen their protection against all forms of violence and exploitation.


• At the meso level, UN Women supports government, public institutions to deliver gender-responsive programmes and public services that facilitate women’s economic empowerment, through Social Development Centres (SDCs). UN Women also works to build coalitions across civil society calling for gender-equitable recovery and supports the facilitation of civil society watch dog bodies on issues of gender and the economy.


• At the individual level, UN Women creates economic opportunities and pathways to decent employment for Lebanese and refugee women at risk, to enable them to meet their immediate needs as they relate to nutrition, shelter, health, and education and to support asset replenishment. This is paired with protection services, including legal aid and self-defense. Much of this work is implemented through UN joint programmes to support and leverage the cumulative impact and work of the UN for gender.


Since the establishment of its presence in Lebanon in 2017, UN Women has reached over 10,000 women: significantly increasing their employability, purchasing power, and confidence.


To address immediate needs of those impacted by Lebanon’s compounded crises, UN Women combines accredited vocational and soft skills trainings with an employment opportunity to support women’s employability, which include job placements, cash-for- work, and entrepreneurship support.


UN Women also supports coordinated multiparter policy advocacy to address gender discrimination in Lebanon’s legislative framework. UN Women is also supporting the private sector through the Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs), and to support Lebanon’s recovery, UN Women, in partnership with UN agencies and government bodies, produces regular analysis of the gendered impact of the economic and political crisis.


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