"Women Empowerment: Peaceful Action for Security and Stability WEPASS"
During a period where recovery from war effects was the main concern for both national and international stakeholders, and as a result of the successful cooperation between the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Project on "Women Empowerment: Peaceful Action for Security and Stability WEPASS" came to light. The idea started as a pilot project that aims to promote the implementation of the UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security relative to its context in Lebanon. The project was launched after the July war in 2006 targeting communities that suffered from the war. It was launched in cooperation with municipal councils, women committees, and social development service centers of the selected communities.
Phase I and Phase II of WEPASS project were implemented in 10 communities. Today, we are in Phase III and our work has extended to 22 villages and communities namely, Aytaroun, Beit Lahya Cluster (5), Bint Jbeil, Bourj Hammoud, Bourjein, Deir Mimass, Doueir, Ghaziyeh, Ghobeiry, Harf Arde, Kantara, Kfeir, Kuwaikhat, Mina, Nabatiyeh, Ras Baalback, Sebel, and Yarine. The actual Phase is financed by the Government of Lebanon through the Lebanon Recovery Fund established on the occasion of the Stockholm Conference for Lebanons Early Recovery in August 2006.
WEPASS is a project that empowers Lebanese women. Our activities address 'women empowerment' on the personal, social, political and economic levels. We implement these activities while adopting a participatory approach involving the women committees, community leaders, municipal councils, service providers, grass roots organizations, community sectors, and youth.
Through outreach and awareness raising strategies and activities, community mobilization and sensitization techniques, capacity and institutional development programs, income generation projects and initiatives, focus group meetings, and publications, we coordinate with specialized NGOs and experts to disseminate professional information and expertise to the women in our targeted communities using interactive tools. Building on the success stories and benefiting from the lessons learned in each community, we plan our activities in coordination with the women committees of every village.
The project's components are the following:
Participation in decision making,
Rights and gender discrimination,
Gender based violence (GBV),
Reproductive health (RH),
Economic empowerment, and
Women and their contribution to Peace
As for the communities and villages targeted, these were selected based on the following criteria: a) having a woman as member of the municipal council, b) being classified as a village below the poverty line as categorized by official reports, and c) having a municipal council interested in playing an active role throughout the project.