WPHF is channeling rapid financing to local civil society organizations in Lebanon to strengthen their capacities and enhance women’s participation in response, recovery, and peacebuilding processes in the wake of Beirut’s August 2020 port explosion.
In Lebanon, WPHF is financing women’s rights and women-led civil-society organizations that are supporting women’s participation in peacebuilding and recovery processes — ensuring women’s knowledge, expertise, skills, perspectives and needs are acknowledged and integrated into the Beirut port explosion response.
WPHF has supported 14 projects implemented by 16 women-led and women’s rights civil society organizations in Lebanon:
Enabling Environment for WPS + Peacebuilding and Recovery
- SEEDS for Legal Initiatives (SEEDS) on a project to strengthen its institutional capacity by supporting it to retain key personnel, engage in strategic planning, and raise new resources.
- Haven for Artists (H4A) on a project to build its institutional capacity to ensure the maintenance of Haven House, its cultural community center, and the development of a new strategic and financial long-term strategy for responding to the needs of women and marginalized communities.
- Abnaa Saida El Balad on a project supporting the organization’s core activities and enhancing its institutional capacity to develop an adaptative strategy for human resources, management, communications, and a detailed plan for its gender equality program.
- Committee of Employee of Women Union (CEWU) — together with CREADEL and SMART Center — on a project to politically empower women and young women through capacity-building on promoting peace and conflict resolution in their communities, as well as public debate and mediation.
- SEENARYO — together with Women Now for Development — on a project to i) strengthen women’s leadership through participatory workshops and ‘theater leadership’; and ii) increase community engagement to advocate for integrating women’s interests into the work of local community leaders through workshops on women’s rights, UNSCR 1325, negotiation, mediation and social media tools for transitional justice.
- Women Alive on a project to promote women’s participation and engagement in peacebuilding, targeting women — including female university students — in clubs and the broader community through trainings and campaigns. The project also aims to build the capacity of NGOs, CBOs, unions and municipalities on topics of gender-based violence, peacebuilding, and political rights.
- Lebanon Family Planning Association for Sustainable Development on a project to increase women’s political participation at the municipal level in 15 villages in the regions of Tyre and West Bekaa through trainings on municipal work, laws governing the 2021 municipal elections, and women’s community and political participation.
Peacebuilding and Recovery
- Auberge Beity Association on a project to increase the participation of women and CSO representatives in governance processes to prevent conflict, improve responses to crisis and emergencies following the Beirut blast in Rmeil and Mdawar using community score card processes to identify, monitor and improve implementation of disaster management processes with the three public service entities of Civil Defense, Internal Security/Police Forces and Beirut Municipality.
- Dar Al Amal on a project to increase vulnerable women’s inclusion in the Beirut blast response through the establishment of women-led groups for skills building in mapping, monitoring, and advocacy for services supporting affected families following the Beirut blast. These groups will act as focal points to advocate with local service providers, creating mechanisms for collaboration and dialogue to improve the responsiveness of services for vulnerable women’s specific needs.
- Fe-Male – a feminist grassroots collective and movement working to eliminate injustice and build a young feminist movement in Lebanon – on a project to document and amplify the voices of women and adolescent girls affected by the Beirut blast, particularly refugees, migrant workers, the LGBTQI+ community and/or women living with disabilities. It draws on various social media platforms to amplify the voices of women and girls, document their contribution to peacebuilding and recovery efforts and advocate for women’s decision-making and inclusion in the blast’s recovery plans.
- Madanyat – together with ONDES – on a project to improve the gender responsiveness of services provided to women and other marginalized groups in the wake of the Beirut blast while increasing the participation and representation of women in formal and informal planning processes through the establishment of two women committees in Bourj Hammoud and Sin El Fil.
- Seeds for Legal Initiatives on a project that studies the extent to which recovery programs that receive funding following the Beirut explosion are succeeding in promoting the participation of women in decision-making processes and in line with the goals of the Lebanon Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction Framework (3RF). The results will be used with roundtable events and technical discussions with donors and feminist organizations to mobilize pledges and further commitments.
- Haven for Artists (H4A) on a project targeting 200 women’s and LGBTQI+ individuals affected by the Beirut Blast, aiming to amplify their voices and enhance their knowledge, skills, and participation. The project will facilitate participatory, political and cultural platforms to enhance political debate, encourage dialogue and create a women’s network for the provision of information and awareness of rights for women and girls, including migrant workers and LGBTQI+ communities.
Since 2019, Lebanon has been the scene of an unprecedented political and economic crisis compounded by multiple shocks that hit the country throughout 2019 and 2020, including the October 2019 Uprising, the COVID-19 outbreak in February 2020, and most recently the August 2020 Beirut Blast. Resulting in a governmental vacuum, a steep depreciation of the Lebanese pound, inflation, and shortages, this multifaced crisis threw millions of Lebanese into poverty. According to ESCWA, more than 55% of the country’s population is now struggling to provide for bare necessities like food, health, water and education. These challenges were exacerbated by a decade-long protracted Syrian refugee crisis that stretched public services and increased job competition between host and refugee communities. Lebanon is the host to the highest number of refugees per capita, with over one million Syrian refugees and more than 270,000 Palestinian refugees.
Already suffering from deep gender inequalities – with a ranking of 145 out of 153 countries in the 2020 World Economic Forum Gender Gap report – Lebanese women and girls have been among those most impacted by the current crisis with an expected push back in hard-earned gender equality gains. According to 2020, Rapid Gender Analysis of the August 2020 Beirut Port Explosion, the blast increased women’s vulnerabilities, reduced their access to reproductive and health services, intensified their exposure to gender-based violence, narrowed their economic opportunities, and dramatically increased their food insecurity. As women remain excluded from decision-making, a majority of governmental and I/NGO responses remain gender blind.
In Lebanon, WPHF aims to support organizations led by and working alongside women and girls in all their diversity, increasing the participation of women in Beirut’s explosion response and recovery processes and ensuring their knowledge, perspectives and needs contribute to a more peaceful and inclusive future.