Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia


ESCWA P.O. Box 11-8575, Riad El-Solh 1107 2812, Beirut, Lebanon


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.

Policy framework

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.

Areas of Focus

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:

Status of Arab Women: Violence against Women: What Is at Stake? (E/ESCWA/ECW/2017/2). Available at:

The State of Gender Justice in the Arab Region (E/ESCWA/ECW/2017/4). Available at:

Policy Brief: Institutional Mechanisms for Gender Accountability in the Arab Region (E/ESCWA/ECW/2017/TECHNICAL PAPER.3). Available at:

Estimating Costs of Marital Violence in the Arab Region: Operational Model (E/ESCWA/ECW/2017/TECHNICAL PAPER.4). Available at:

Policy Brief: Role of Women in Peacebuilding Processes (E/ESCWA/ECW/2017/TECHNICAL PAPER.5). Available at:

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:

Women in the Judiciary: A Stepping Stone towards Gender Justice (E/ESCWA/ECW/2018/BRIEF.1). Available at: Due Diligence Standard, Violence against Women and Protection Orders in the Arab Region (E/ESCWA/ECW/2018/BRIEF.2). Available at:

Gender Justice & the Law: Assessment of Laws Affecting Gender Equality in the Arab States Region. Available at: