As we mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25 November, Lebanon is one of ten countries participating in an initiative led by the Arab Coalition of Women MPs to build a future free from violence and the fear of violence.
On 1 December the Coalition in partnership with the Arab League and its Women and Family and Child Department, will present the first draft of an Arab Convention to combat violence against women, at a conference hosted by the Arab League in Cairo. The Coalition aspires for the Convention to send a strong political signal of the importance of improved domestic legislation to protect women and girls from violence, hold perpetrators to account, and effectively care for victims. The Convention will sit alongside other international and regional agreements including the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Council of Europe Convention, the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Attending the conference from Lebanon MP Michel Moussa, Chair of the Human Rights Parliamentary Committee and MP Gilbert Zouein, Chair of the Women and Child Committee.
Parliaments can play a crucial role in establishing a legal environment which protects women. With improved laws more rigorously enforced, perpetrators will be discouraged from committing violence and victims will have access to necessary treatment and social services.
The two-year project is funded by the UK Government’s Magna Carta Fund, and implemented by Westminster Foundation for Democracy, the UK’s leading democracy-strengthening organisation which supports inclusive governance through strengthened policy-making, accountability, representation and citizen participation.
Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls is a key priority for the UK. In addition to support through the Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) is proud to be a world leader in tackling violence against women and girls and will continue to put the rights and well-being of girls and women at the heart of its development programmes.