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 on 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). Available at: https://www.unescwa.org/publications/women-peace-security-institutions-war-arab
Status of Arab Women: Violence against Women: What Is at Stake? (E/ESCWA/ECW/2017/2). Available at: https://www.unescwa.org/publications/arab-women-report-violence-against-women
The State of Gender Justice in the Arab Region (E/ESCWA/ECW/2017/4). Available at: https://www.unescwa.org/publications/state-gender-justice-arab-region
Policy Brief: Institutional Mechanisms for Gender Accountability in the Arab Region (E/ESCWA/ECW/2017/TECHNICAL PAPER.3). Available at: https://www.unescwa.org/publications/institutional-mechanisms-gender-accountability
Estimating Costs of Marital Violence in the Arab Region: Operational Model (E/ESCWA/ECW/2017/TECHNICAL PAPER.4). Available at: https://www.unescwa.org/publications/estimating-costs-marital-violence-operational-model
Policy Brief: Role of Women in Peacebuilding Processes (E/ESCWA/ECW/2017/TECHNICAL PAPER.5). Available at: https://www.unescwa.org/publications/role-women-peacebuilding-processes
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)). Available at: https://www.unescwa.org/sites/www.unescwa.org/files/events/files/1700348e.pdf
Women in the Judiciary: A Stepping Stone towards Gender Justice (E/ESCWA/ECW/2018/BRIEF.1). Available at: https://www.unescwa.org/publications/women-judiciary-gender-justice-arab-countriesThe Due Diligence Standard, Violence against Women and Protection Orders in the Arab Region (E/ESCWA/ECW/2018/BRIEF.2). Available at: https://www.unescwa.org/publications/protection-orders-due-diligence
Gender Justice & the Law: Assessment of Laws Affecting Gender Equality in the Arab States Region. Available at: https://www.unescwa.org/events/gender-justice-and-law
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
ESCWA Centre for Women is a member of the Steering Committee of the project Ending Violence against women through men and boys, led by Kafa and Oxfam, in Lebanon. The chief of the Centre for Women gave several interviews to the media on the topic.Hide
ESCWA organizes annually an Arab Forum for Sustainable Development (AFSD) which bring together policy makers and regional stakeholders to discuss the various themes on the SDG agenda. The outcomes of the AFSD are then shared with the High-Level View More
ESCWA organizes annually an Arab Forum for Sustainable Development (AFSD) which bring together policy makers and regional stakeholders to discuss the various themes on the SDG agenda. The outcomes of the AFSD are then shared with the High-Level Political Forum. In April 2019, ESCWA in partnership with other United Nations agencies organized two sessions, which addressed among other issues violence against women. In addition, ESCWA partnered with National Women Machineries and other United nations agencies in organizing side events during the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women in 2019. This included a side event with Jordan and Tunisia on “Adopting the SDGs to the Local Context” including Goal 5 and its targets on combating violence against women, a side event with the United Nations Population (UNFPA) on the “Guidelines to Estimate the Economic Cost of Domestic Violence in the Arab Region”, a side event with UN Women, the League of Arab States, the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW), the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW) on “Women, Peace and Security National Action Plans on the Arab Region: Lebanon and Jordan”, and a side event with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women and UNFPA on “Gender Justice and the Law: Implications of Inequality before the Law for Social Protection and Women’s Empowerment.Hide
ESCWA participated in a number of side events at the sixty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women in 2018. This included a side event with the Permanent Mission of the State of Palestine on “The Social and Economic Situation View More
ESCWA participated in a number of side events at the sixty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women in 2018. This included a side event with the Permanent Mission of the State of Palestine on “The Social and Economic Situation of Palestinian Women and Girls under Israeli Occupation”; a side event with the Permanent Mission of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on “The Development of a Comprehensive Response to Address Violence against Women in Jordan” and a side event with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Tunisia and UN Women on “The Fight against Violence against Women.”Hide
ESCWA published in 2007 the Report on Women in the Arab region: Achievements, Obstacles and Prospects for Advancement, which reviewed the status of Arab women and their achievements in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, the Arab Plan of Action and the Beirut Declaration, a five year plan which includes women’s rights and violence against women among its five priority areas.Hide