ESCWA hosted the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia Committee on Women, eighth session, in October 2017 in Beirut, Lebanon. During this gathering of member states, there was a roundtable discussion on the economic cost of violence against women, which addressed the importance of estimating the economic cost of violence against women, the implications of marital violence on women, children, communities and society, and the efforts exerted by Arab countries in designing strategies and adopting laws aimed at combatting violence against women. A second roundtable discussion addressed the role of institutions in times of peace and war in the Arab region, including the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda.
ESCWA drafted a series of briefs to better inform policy in member states, including: “Institutional Mechanisms for Gender Accountability in the Arab Region,” which argues for greater accountability of institutions to achieve gender justice, including efforts to combat violence against women; “Estimating Costs of Marital Violence in the Arab Region: Operational Model,” which outlines the ways in which costing violence against women can be applied to the Arab region; “The Role of Women in Peacebuilding Processes,” which argues for women’s greater participation in formal and informal peace processes, which may impact the perpetration conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence; and, “Enhancing the Role of Institutions in Achieving Gender Equality in the Arab Region: The Economic Cost of Violence against Women,” which advocates for Member States, academia and research institutions to conduct costings of intimate partner violence in the Arab region.
ESCWA, in partnership with the Swedish Institute of Alexandria and UN Women, coordinated a Regional Consultation on the Economic Costing of Violence Against Women. The consultation aimed to assist Member States in their efforts to eliminate violence against women and to implement their international obligations. The Regional Consultation built upon the results of the first phase of a regional project implemented by ESCWA in cooperation with UN Women on the economic cost of violence against women.
ESCWA hosted a panel discussion on “The Role of Women, Youth and Civil Society in Post-Conflict Peace and Reconstruction Processes” as part of a larger discussion on State-building and Institutional Development in Post-Conflict Settings: Opportunities and Challenges in Libya and Yemen. The panel considered the role of women, youth and civil society in post-conflict peace and reconstruction processes. Case studies from Tunisia, Libya and Yemen provided examples of women, youth and other stakeholders, who have successfully challenged restrictive norms and overcame social barriers to actively participate in the reconstruction of their communities and states.
ESCWA, in partnership with the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World (IWSAW) at the Lebanese American University, hosted a Regional Consultation on Current Political Developments and Their Impact on Arab Women. Engaging with human rights and women’s rights experts from the Arab region and beyond, the consultation sought to achieve a better understanding of the current political situation in the region and assess the impact it might have on women and their recent legal and socio-economic achievements, including violence against women legal reform.