Workshop on combating violence against women highlights strategies to protect women in the Arab region Skip to main content

Workshop on combating violence against women highlights strategies to protect women in the Arab region

Beirut, Lebanon

Beirut, 1 October 2018 (Communication and Information Unit) – A workshop on combating violence against women was recently organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) at its headquarters in Beirut to highlight the role of international and regional bodies specializing in women’s issues, as well as their impact on the development of policies, strategies, national laws and standard services to protect women who are victims and/or survivors of violence.
The two-day workshop, held on 18 and 19 September in cooperation with UN Women and the League of Arab States (LAS), gathered experts from the region representing women machineries.
“Before 2011, no legislations were present in the Arab region with regard to combating violence against women, but significant progress has been made ever since. Today, there are about six countries that have legislations on combating violence against women,” said Mehrinaz Elawady, Director of the ESCWA Centre for Women, in her opening remarks.
Speaking about the means to combat violence against women, Ms. Elawady stressed that the phenomenon of violence against women is very large and the national machinery is not enough to end violence against women.” She insisted on the need for cooperation at the regional level.
The regional workshop also allowed for an in-depth discussion on the draft Arab convention on combating violence against women, which is currently being developed by the LAS in cooperation with UN Women, UNFPAs’ regional office for Arab States, ESCWA, the Coalition of Women MPs from Arab Countries To Combat Violence Against Women, and Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD).
Participants agreed that while many countries have demonstrated concrete efforts to combat the multi-faceted dimensions of violence, much more work needs to be done including developing laws and adhering to existing ones.
“In spite of the existing laws, violence continues to threaten the lives of many girls and women in the region,” warned Manal Benkirane, regional program specialist at UN Women’s Regional Office for Arab States.
 The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss generating data and information on violence against women through national surveys on the prevalence of violence, and also estimating the cost of violence.
This workshop comes at a time when states in the Arab region are stepping up their efforts to combat violence against women through initiatives such as amendment of legal provisions, service development, or the establishment of databases and partnerships with various stakeholders. Thus, the importance of documenting these efforts and sharing lessons learned, activities in line with the mandates of ESCWA, UN-WOMEN and LAS which support Arab states’ efforts and deepen knowledge and skills through the exchange of experiences among countries.


For more information:
Nabil Abu-Dargham +961-70-993144email:  
Ms Rania Harb: +961-70-008879
Ms Myrna Mahfouz:  +961-70-827372