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 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
ESCWA supports the work of intergovernmental bodies, including the Arab Regional Conference Ten Years after Beijing: A Call for Peace in Beirut (2004), which resulted in the five-year work programme that includes women’s rights and violence against women among its five priority areas. In 2004, ESCWA conducted the Arab regional ten-year review and appraisal of implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, which included attention to violence against women. ESCWA contributes to the Secretary-General’s reports on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women, analysing the close links between increased poverty and social burdens and increased domestic violence against women. ESCWA contributed to the Secretary-General’s report on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women (E/CN.6/2008/3).Hide
ESCWA provided technical support on estimating the cost marital violence through a national consultation with the State of Palestine and a training with the Palestinian Central Bureau for Statistics on developing relevant questions on costing View More
ESCWA provided technical support on estimating the cost marital violence through a national consultation with the State of Palestine and a training with the Palestinian Central Bureau for Statistics on developing relevant questions on costing marital violence for a forthcoming prevalence survey on violence. The data gathered within the survey will assist the State of Palestine in developing a comprehensive response to marital violence.
ESCWA, in partnership with UN Women and the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World (IWSAW) at the Lebanese American University, published the study “Status of Arab Women Report 2017: Violence Against Women: What Is at Stake?” The study focuses on intimate partner violence and its economic costs to Arab states, and advocates for costing as an innovative approach and advocacy tool to assess the full impact of such violence on women, families, communities and the state.
ESCWA, in partnership with UN Women, published the technical paper, “Estimating the Costs of Marital Violence in the Arab Region: Operational Model,” which was informed by the earlier study on the “Status of Arab Women Report 2017: Violence Against Women: What Is at Stake?” The paper proposes three different entry points for costing marital violence in the region in an effort to encourage member states to strengthen their socio-economic and legal responses to such violence.
ESCWA published the study "Women, Peace and Security: The Role of Institutions at Times of Peace and War." This study explores the women, peace and security agenda and the response in the Arab region, including an analysis of national women’s machineries, national human rights institutions, the security sector, and civil society institutions during times of stability and conflict and includes case studies on Libya and Yemen.
ESCWA published the study “The State of Gender Justice in the Arab Region,” which maps the barriers and opportunities to achieving gender justice in the Arab region, including formal and informal mechanisms for addressing violence against women. The study calls on Member States to create a more enabling legislative environment, enhance the capabilities of accountability institutions, and foster an empowering socio-economic environment for true gender justice.
ESCWA, in partnership with UNDP, UNFPA, and UN WOMEN, launched the study on Gender Justice and the Law in the Arab States Region. This study provides a base line assessment of laws and policies affecting the realization of gender equality View More
ESCWA, in partnership with UNDP, UNFPA, and UN WOMEN, launched the study on Gender Justice and the Law in the Arab States Region. This study provides a base line assessment of laws and policies affecting the realization of gender equality and the protection of women from violence in the region. The 18 country reports highlight successful legal provisions and identify gaps that countries can target to meet their international obligations and commitments.
ESCWA presented a paper on the “missing links” in research on women’s economic empowerment in Arab States at the conference on “Economic Empowerment of Women and the Promotion of the Values of Peace, Justice and Citizenship” in Oman in December 2018. The paper argues that salient forms of discrimination, such as violence against women, are insufficiently analysed as barriers to women’s economic participation in the region. The paper suggests pathways to better integrate violence against women in the region’s economic research and policy agenda, including through national costings of the economic impact of violence against women.
ESCWA, in partnership with UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, and the National University of Ireland, Galway, is currently developing a model to cost the economic impact of child marriage in the Arab region.
ESCWA, in partnership with the League of Arab States and UN Women, organized a training workshop focused on the “Guidance Note for Comprehensive National-Level Reviews” to support participating member States in the timely preparation of their national-level reviews on progress made and challenges encountered in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
ESCWA participated in the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Gender Statistics (IAEG-GS) in the Arab Countries. The meetings brought together experts from the National Statistical Offices, Women Machineries, regional and international experts to review and discuss development of gender statistics for evidence-based policy making. This included: (i) methods for compiling and calculating the Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG5) indicators, and (ii) the final version of the ESCWA Household Survey Questionnaire on Violence against Women.Hide
ESCWA finalized a study on the role of ICTs in achieving Goal 5. This includes the role of ICTs in addressing targets 5.2 and 5.3 focused on combating Violence against Women. The study includes a stock taking of existing initiatives in the region View More
ESCWA finalized a study on the role of ICTs in achieving Goal 5. This includes the role of ICTs in addressing targets 5.2 and 5.3 focused on combating Violence against Women. The study includes a stock taking of existing initiatives in the region and good practices that are suitable for adaptation from the international to the regional context.
ESCWA, in partnership with UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, and the National University of Ireland, Galway, developed a model to cost the economic impact of child marriage in the Arab region. The model was further dev
ESCWA in partnership with the Irish mission in NY and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs in Palestine implemented the household survey which includes questions specifically aimed at collecting data pertaining to costing VAW in Palestine. Currently, data is being analyzed and the launch of the related study is planned to take place in 2020.
ESCWA, in partnership with the League of Arab States and UN Women, organized a regional workshop which brought together representatives of National Women Machineries, National Statistics Offices and National Human Rights Institutes in the Arab countries as key stakeholders to assist them in the process of the adaptation, implementation, and follow-up and review of SDG 5 at the national level. This workshop facilitated a dialogue on a consolidated vision to accelerate the achievement of SDG 5 using a human rights and evidence-based approach. It showcased the importance of using ICTs as a means to promote women’s rights including the right of a life free of violence and achieve SDG 5 and to support the means of implementation of other SDGs and related targets.
ESCWA participated in the 13th Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Gender Statistics (IAEG-GS) in the Arab Countries. The meeting brought together gender statisticians and experts from the international, regional and national institutions that are IAEG-GS members. The meeting took stock and provided feedback, from a gender perspective, on the methodological work being undertaken by UNSD and the Expert Group on Innovative and Effective Ways to Collect Time-Use Statistics, in line with international standards. It also discussed and reviewed the on-going work of the IAEG-GS Advisory Group on Strengthening Administrative Systems to Close Gender Data Gaps. Also, it reviewed on-going national, regional and global initiatives to improve evidence for gender-relevant policies, including the development and implementation of international methods and standards and discussed progress towards gender equality at the national, regional and global levels, in particular in the context of Beijing+25.
ESCWA organized a training workshop aimed at improving technical capabilities in using gender statistics to monitor SDG gender indicators and in disseminating, communicating and using statistics and indicators. The workshop assisted researchers in their efforts to mainstream gender into their national statistical system, which will result in improved availability and use of gender statistics at the national, regional and international levels for better evidence-based gender policies.S5Hide