As the regional arm and voice of the United Nations in the Arab region, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) promotes the economic and social development of its Member States through regional and sub-regional cooperation and integration. ESCWA has a general mandate to carry out regional reviews of progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of international conferences and summits. The ESCWA Centre for Women (ECW) was established in 2003 to improve the status of women in the region by empowering them economically, socially and politically. ECW works very closely with National Women’s Machineries (NWMs) to assist them in promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality. This entails undertaking evidence-based research to inform the development of gender sensitive national policies, plans and programmes.
ESCWA’s work on violence against women is aligned with relevant international frameworks and is guided by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 and the Women, Peace and Security agenda, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (especially Sustainable Development Goal 5 on Gender Equality and Empowerment of All Women and Girls).
Regionally, the Muscat Declaration: Towards the Achievement of Gender Justice in the Arab Region (2016), formulated at the seventh session of the Committee of Women of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, also informs the work of ECW. The Muscat Declaration outlines gender justice as both a process and an outcome, taking into consideration relevant international frameworks and national initiatives.
The elimination of violence against women is a key priority area for ESCWA and guides the work of ECW.
Working within the Arab region, ECW’s work programme covers an extensive research, advocacy and capacity-building agenda on the following priority issues: Women, Peace and Security; Violence against Women; and Gender Justice, with the cross-cutting themes of gender mainstreaming and Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
The eradication of violence against women is addressed in a holistic manner and from different angles by ECW. This approach is both comprehensive and contextual and involves extensive research, legal reform advocacy, policy development, and service provision development and augmentation. The Centre capitalizes on its location in and extensive knowledge of the region to bring in best practices at the national level through technical advisory work and capacity-building activities.
Women, Peace and Security: The Role of Institutions in Times of Peace and War in the Arab Region (E/ESCWA/ECW/2017/1)
Status of Arab Women: Violence against Women: What Is at Stake? (E/ESCWA/ECW/2017/2)
The State of Gender Justice in the Arab Region (E/ESCWA/ECW/2017/4)
Policy Brief: Institutional Mechanisms for Gender Accountability in the Arab Region (E/ESCWA/ECW/2017/TECHNICAL PAPER.3)
Estimating Costs of Marital Violence in the Arab Region: Operational Model (E/ESCWA/ECW/2017/TECHNICAL PAPER.4)
Policy Brief: Role of Women in Peacebuilding Processes (E/ESCWA/ECW/2017/TECHNICAL PAPER.5)
Enhancing the Role of Institutions in Achieving Gender Equality in the Arab Region: The Economic Cost of Violence against Women (E/ESCWA/ECW/2017/IG.1/5(Part III))
In partnership with UN-WOMEN and the Norwegian Embassy in Beirut, the ESCWA Centre for Women (ECW) has jointly published a flagship publication entitled “Combating Domestic violence: Policies to Empower Women in the Arab Region”, in addition to a policy brief building on the main findings of this study.Hide
Throughout the period 2014 to 2016, ESCWA has delivered relevant advisory services on VAW legislation to three Member States. In June 2014, ESCWA provided support to the adoption of new legislation on violence against women in Egypt. ESCWA View More
Throughout the period 2014 to 2016, ESCWA has delivered relevant advisory services on VAW legislation to three Member States. In June 2014, ESCWA provided support to the adoption of new legislation on violence against women in Egypt. ESCWA supported national efforts to enact legislation on VAW in Egypt by co-organizing a workshop to present the UN Model Law on Violence against Women and related international instruments. This workshop targeted senior officials from the Egyptian Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Interior and members of the National Council for Women, as well as service providers and practitioners. The workshop allowed participants to share experiences and lessons learned. In December 2014, ESCWA provided advisory services to Tunisia to discuss the draft law to combat Violence against Women and Girls.Hide
ESCWA undertook advisory missions in 2007 to strengthen capacity for the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, including legal reform and application of existing law in line with the Convention, as a pre-requisite for eradicating violence against women in the region.Hide
In terms of protection, support and services, ESCWA developed in 2015 a toolkit for service and protection provision to address Gender-Based Violence in the Arab region. This toolkit, developed in partnership with CAWTAR, targeted Government View More
In terms of protection, support and services, ESCWA developed in 2015 a toolkit for service and protection provision to address Gender-Based Violence in the Arab region. This toolkit, developed in partnership with CAWTAR, targeted Government representatives, religious leaders and media professionals with a view to change gender-related behaviours and perspectives in public policy and the public sphere.Hide
The ESCWA Centre for Women (ECW) completed a regional study and policy brief on “Multi-sectoral efforts and partnerships to address violence against women in the ESCWA Region”, in partnership with ABAAD, to examine services provided by the State and civil society institutions and enhance their role in protecting and rehabilitating survivors of VAW. Another study in 2013 focused on “Trafficking of women and children in the Arab Region: A regional perspective” to analyze State responses to trafficking in persons as manifested in national laws, action plans and strategies.Hide
ESCWA, in partnership with the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World (IWSAW) at the Lebanese American University and UNFPA, organized a youth arts competition for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence 2017. The View More
ESCWA, in partnership with the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World (IWSAW) at the Lebanese American University and UNFPA, organized a youth arts competition for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence 2017. The competition received over 75 submissions of artwork from youth in the Arab region and the awards event involved a presentation on engaging with visual arts as a means to respond to gender sensitive legal reform.
ESCWA, in partnership with UN Women, produced a brochure targeting policy makers on estimating the economic costs of violence against women and a created a series of eight infographics conveying key messages on the impact of violence against women in the Arab region and responses by ESCWA Member States.
ESCWA facilitates a quarterly gender discussion series, open to all members of the community. The following topics have been addressed: Child marriage in the Arab region; Prioritizing women, peace and security on the Arab agenda; Estimating the cost of violence against women in the Arab region; and the Arab position on gender equality.
ESCWA, in partnership with UNFPA, screened the film ‘Nour’ (2017) about a fifteen-year-old girl from a Lebanese village who is forced to marry a much older man. In response to the film, audience members remarked that activists, government official and NGOs must strategize how to confront child marriage once it happens, in addition to promoting legal reform.
ESCWA, in partnership with the Asfari Institute on Civil Society and Citizenship at the American University of Beirut, launched the “Lazim Campaign” during the weeks leading up to International Women’s Day 2018. Through the Lazim Campaign, prominent women throughout the Arab region shared their hopes for change in 2018, including criminalizing violence against women and developing gender-sensitive legislation.
During the period 2014 to 2016, ESCWA focused several of its Gender Discussion Series on Violence against Women. In December 2014, ESCWA organized a discussion on “Gender-related research and policy priorities emerging in the context of View More
During the period 2014 to 2016, ESCWA focused several of its Gender Discussion Series on Violence against Women. In December 2014, ESCWA organized a discussion on “Gender-related research and policy priorities emerging in the context of recent regional developments, particularly in humanitarian and conflict settings”. This event was organized in collaboration with the ABAAD Resource Centre for Gender Equality in the context of 16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence. Within this framework, ESCWA organized several advocacy activities against Gender-Based Violence.Hide
ESCWA, in partnership with UN Women, ABAAD Resource Centre for Gender Equality and the Lebanese American University, has commemorated the 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence campaign (25th November-10th December 2016) and organised a View More
ESCWA, in partnership with UN Women, ABAAD Resource Centre for Gender Equality and the Lebanese American University, has commemorated the 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence campaign (25th November-10th December 2016) and organised a series of awareness raising activities. These include a video competition among the youth in the Arab region to send a message on 'how to stop violence against women', a panel discussion with experts and CSOs on estimating the cost of VAW, and a public event to promote civil engagement on the topic.Hide
ESCWA undertakes awareness-raising efforts through meetings, regional conferences and seminars. The ESCWA Centre for Women devoted the March 2007 issue of its newsletter to the subject of violence against women in the ESCWA region; the newsletter was distributed on International Women’s Day 2007.Hide
At the conclusion of the recent ESCWA’s 6th Session of the Committee on Women, Member States unanimously adopted the “Kuwait Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women”, collectively condemning all forms of VAW and declaring their commitment to enhance joint and individual efforts to monitor, address and combat GBV.Hide