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WRC Calls for Support for Lebanese Organizations Working for Equality

NEW YORK, NY – In light of the fatal explosion that devastated the city of Beirut, Lebanon, on August 4, Sarah Costa, executive director of the Women’s Refugee Commission, issued the following statement:

“The Women’s Refugee Commission is deeply shocked and heartbroken by the many lives lost and thousands injured as a result of the deadly explosion last week. We stand in solidarity with our partners and the people of Beirut, who have already faced so many hardships, including an ongoing economic and financial crisis and COVID-19.

“We urge the international community to respond without delay and deliver help that is responsive to the age, gender, disability, and diversity needs of the community, including Lebanon’s refugee population and stateless persons, who already face discrimination and lack of access to resources. Lebanon generously hosts around 1.5 million Syrian refugees, and any response must take into account their human rights, including women’s rights. The current crisis must not be used as a pretext for greater marginalization and abuse.

“We know that women and girls and gender non-conforming people face particular challenges whenever a crisis occurs, yet they are routinely excluded from decision-making about their future. This makes support for organizations fighting for gender equality and justice, including for the rights of persons with disabilities, all the more important.

“We ask the international community and individuals to join us in supporting and uplifting our sister organizations based in Lebanon and the region.”

ABAAD, Resource Center for Gender Equality, aims to achieve gender equality as an essential condition to sustainable social and economic development in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. https://www.abaadmena.org/

Arab Institute for Women at the Lebanese American University advances women’s empowerment and gender equality through research, education, development programs, and outreach. https://aiw.lau.edu.lb/news-events/aiw-updates/the-aiw-statement-of-lebanon-tra.php

Basmeh and Zeitooneh (B&Z) develops and runs community centers for Syrian refugees in camp and urban settings in Lebanon, Turkey, and Kurdistan, and empowers Syrians in exile to be able to live lives of dignity. https://www.basmeh-zeitooneh.org/

Collective for Research and Training on Development Action (CRTDA) seeks to contribute to citizenship, social justice, and gender equality, including the right of Lebanese women to enjoy their full citizenship, through transmitting their Lebanese nationality to their children and spouses. CRTDA also works with the Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights in the fight for gender-equal nationality rights.”https://crtda.org.lb/

Frontiers Ruwad (FR) aims to enhance human rights embodied in the International Bill of Rights and in the Lebanese Constitution on both the individual and collective levels and currently has two main operating programs: migration and statelessness. FR also works with the Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights in the fight for gender-equal nationality rights. http://www.frontiersruwad.org/index.htm

Himaya is a specialized NGO in the child protection sector, working to prevent violence against children and offer the support needed for abused children on a psychosocial and legal level, eventually allowing them to be reintegrated as productive and active members of society. https://www.himaya.org/content/who-we-are

KAFA’s Anti-trafficking and Exploitation Unit works to build public opinion against trafficking and exploitation of two groups of women vulnerable to these forms of violence: women migrant domestic workers and women in prostitution. https://www.kafa.org.lb/en/about

Lebanese Association for Self-Advocacy (LASA) is run by and for persons with intellectual disabilities; its members are dedicated to raising awareness about the rights of persons with disabilities in Lebanon, including the rights of Iraqi and Syrian refugees who are living in Beirut. LASA self-advocates have designed and delivered trainings for refugees with disabilities and their families, and strengthened protective peer networks to reduce gender-based violence risks. https://www.facebook.com/sawtouna.kouwatouna

Mosaic, the MENA Organization for Services, Advocacy, Integration, and Capacity Building, is a holistic program committed to improving the health and wellness of marginalized groups. It provides comprehensive services for marginalized groups, researches and advocates for policy reform, builds knowledge and capacities on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) issues, and engages communities in the fight against human rights violations. https://www.mosaicmena.org/

SHEILD Social, Humanitarian, Economical Intervention for Local Development is a local, national humanitarian nongovernmental association that promotes economic development by supporting livelihood and capacity building of marginalized community groups, with women and children as the main focus. http://www.sheild-lb.org/about.php