In a press release by the British Embassy in Beirut, its aid: “British Ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter and Head of the Department for International Development in Lebanon Bruce Lawson-McDowall hosted a roundtable with Lebanese civil society members on women’s empowerment to mark this year’s International Women’s Day theme: Press for Progress on Gender Equality. This is one of several activities the Embassy has undertaken to mark International Women’s Day over the past week.

Addressing youth leaders, activists and embassy partners, Ambassador Shorter announced the local Lebanon launch of the new UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security under UN Security Council Resolution 1325. ‘This Plan places women at the very centre of the UK’s conflict prevention, peace building, security and humanitarian work, and is key to promoting global gender equality. This means taking into consideration of women’s needs in conflict and recognizing the crucial role women play as participants, decision-makers and leaders in their community and in nations as a whole. And crucially, it means ensuring women are involved in planning and delivery of every programme, every activity we support at every stage, here in Lebanon and across the world’.

Ambassador Shorter also talked about the conflict in Syria that has led to increasing numbers of refugee households turning to early marriage as a coping mechanism to Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), and the vulnerability of Palestinian refugees in camps which fall outside the jurisdiction of the Lebanese security services and how their lives are affected by conflict and violence.

Head of Department for International Development Bruce Lawson-McDowall presented UKAid’s new vision for gender equality, as well as explaining why advancing the rights of girls and women is the right thing to do and why gender equality underpins achievement of every one of the Global Goals.

The UK has been working with local and international partners, civil society and government departments to make sure the voice of women and girls is heard and considered in everything we do here. From supporting Westminster Foundation for Democracy, to making progress on legislation countering VAWG, from working with UNICEF on Gender Based Violence and Child Protection, and our humanitarian programmes to working with the police to improve handling of domestic violence victims, there is so much more to be done.

Ghida Anani from Abaad delivered a short presentation about the work the NGO is doing on women’s empowerment. Attendees shared their best practices and views on what more the UK can do to specifically address women’s empowerment.”

Source: National news Agency