Source : Ministry of Public Health, Reproductive health programmes, First biannual report of 2007 .
There is a health mapping project (Lebanese Republic, Ministry of Public Health, draft law on health mapping, article 21, 2004) which comprises a set of criteria for regulating the number, distribution and content of health services in Lebanon. The project is an essential tool for licensing and rationalizing consumption, guaranteeing awareness and quality, and filling gaps in the distribution of health services.
The primary health care centres provide health services for all groups in the community. There are, however, centres of excellence which offer services to young males and females. Some centres are also due to be turned into youth-friendly centres offering advisory services.
Measures relating to clandestine abortion include awareness-raising and guaranteed family planning services aimed at reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies.
The gender perspective is integrated into the national strategic plan for HIV/AIDS, Lebanon 2004-2009. The following examples can be given:
1. Critical area of concern No. 1: Support, human rights and coordination
–Destigmatize shame and minimize discrimination;
–Enhance partnership with women’s non-governmental organizations on unified programmes relating to AIDS.
2. Critical area of concern No. 2: Protection
–Promote safe and healthy sexual behaviour among the entire population by:
•Strengthening awareness of reproductive health principles, including sexual awareness, among married persons and families;
•Providing good-quality condoms wherever they are available;
•Publicize the importance of condom use for protection against AIDS among the sexually active population;
–Increase awareness among young people (both in and outside the school environment) and incorporate awareness-raising activities into the school curriculum;
–Prevent the spread of AIDS among groups at high risk of the disease (including sex workers) on account of their sexual behaviour.
3. Critical area of concern No. 3: Treatment, care and support
–Increase access to reproductive health services that are user-friendly and easily comprehensible.
Rural and vulnerable women
Paragraph 280 of the report is meant to state that special legislation for the agricultural sector was promised in 1946 but that no such legislation has ever been developed.
Both during and after the military operations in the Lebanon war of July and August 2006, the Lebanese State institutions, in conjunction with civil-society and international organizations, worked extremely hard to cope with the disastrous consequences of that war for the country. Various programmes and projects, most of them initially relief efforts, were also launched.
Investigations on the ground were then conducted to ascertain needs. Also identified were individuals and organizations working in the affected areas and capable of providing services, especially in the area of mental health and psychological and social support, in particular for young people. In that context, publications were circulated by schools and clubs in the southern suburbs of Beirut, which were badly damaged by the war in July 2006, with the aim of encouraging young people to seek such services. Sensitization courses on mental health have also been run for leading figures in local communities, school administrators, non-governmental organizations and families of students. In addition, training courses have been run for service providers in five of the relief centres attached to the Ministry of Social Affairs and for various non-governmental organizations working in the southern suburbs of Beirut.
On a further note, in the regions damaged by the war of July 2006, the Ministry of Social Affairs, in cooperation with UNFPA and other international agencies, is currently implementing a number of awareness-raising and education projects on the role of women in peacebuilding and decision-making during conflict, as well as on women’s issues in general. The Ministry is also currently implementing projects aimed at raising awareness of violence against women. Moreover, it is conducting a survey on the situation and needs of women heads of household in those same war-torn regions, in addition to planning programmes for the establishment of social protection networks, including financial support, for such women.
Concerning Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), which stresses the importance of women’s equal participation and full involvement in all aspects of peace, security and public life, the National Commission for Lebanese Women, with UNFPA support, began implementing a project entitled “Women’s empowerment: Peaceful action for security and stability” (WEPASS). The project is aimed at empowering women in the war-torn regions of Lebanon with a view to capacity-building in the main areas of concern covered in that resolution, specifically women’s rights, gender-based violence, involvement in decision-making and economic empowerment. The regions benefiting from the project were selected using specific criteria based on the notion that women should be represented on municipal councils or in the management of comprehensive social service centres. The regions concerned are: the South province (Aytarun, Bint Jubayl, Dayr Mimas, Duwayr, Ghaziyah, Kufayr, Nabatiyah and Yarin); the Bekaa province (Ra’s Baalbek); and the Beirut province (southern suburbs/Ghubayri).
The project applies the participatory method in the planning, implementation and evaluation phases, having been launched on the basis of public meetings in selected towns through which women’s needs and their idea of their own empowerment were evaluated. Local women’s committees were established in cooperation with municipalities and comprehensive social service centres. These committees are now the essential link for communication with the local community and for the planning and implementation of activities. They also serve as the focal point for the project in that their individual and collective capacities are being built to provide scope for women’s effective participation in decision-making, local development and the protection of women from gender-based violence.
In view of the critical political situation in Lebanon since the war of July 2006 and the repercussions of that war, there has been no opportunity for the achievement of any official progress (in terms of either governmental or legislative action) in the matter of granting right of nationality to the children of Lebanese women married to non-Lebanese.
There is as yet nothing new to report concerning ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention. The same also applies to the position of the Lebanese State concerning the amendment to article 20, paragraph 1, of the Convention.