Project Profile 

Supporting gender mainstreaming within Lebanon’s General Security and Internal Security Forces

Women peace and security and gender mainstreaming in Lebanon


This project was initiated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with funds from the Government of Canada. It seeks to map, analyse and enhance the institutional capabilities of the General Directorate of General Security (GS) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF) to mainstream gender considerations in their operational and organisational activities. Supporting gender mainstreaming within the GS and ISF builds on their ongoing efforts to implement Lebanon’s commitments to Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security through its domestic WPS agenda. The project is also in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which recognises gender equality as a crucial driver to progress across the 17 goals, and as a standalone goal (SDG 5). The project’s objectives are also relevant to SDG 16, which focuses on providing justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.


Lebanon is in the depths of an unprecedented political and socio-economic crisis. A by-product of the economic meltdown and the worsening political situation, crime incidence and security events have been on the rise since 2019.

The gendered reality of this context is grave: domestic violence incidence rose over 100% between 2019 and 2021, and there has been a notable uptick in femicide, as well as trafficking in persons (particularly women). Sexual assault and harassment remain widespread threats, with 60% of Lebanese women reporting having experienced some form of sexual harassment in the streets. The judicial and political decision-making machinery is semi-paralysed, and despite progress such as the passing of laws against domestic violence (2014) and sexual harassment (2020), the existing legal and practical protections for women and girls in Lebanon are inadequate.

Within the past three years, security agencies have been struggling to address increased operational demands with reduced budgets, severely constrained human resources, low staff morale, and a lack of basic supplies including electricity and fuel for vehicles and generators. In the latter half of 2022, judicial strikes brought the entire system to a standstill and contributed to the overall struggle. This project therefore seeks to build an understanding of how the ISF and GS can improve their gender related security response, both within the current context and beyond.

Siren, as an implementing partner in the project, will use the International Labour Organisation (ILO)’s Participatory Gender Audit (PGA) as the organising methodology of this project, working with PGA teams selected in both security institutions to develop organisational learning on gender mainstreaming, gaps, challenges and opportunities. The PGA supports organisational learning from a participatory and ‘self-assessment’ perspective. Siren will work with the participating security agencies to adapt the PGA methodology as relevant to the engagement, interest and capacities of participating security officers, and the institutions more broadly.

The analysis will cover five key areas:

  1. Gender issues in the context of the organisation, and existing gender expertise, competence and capacity-building
  2. Gender in the organisation’s objectives, programming and implementation cycles, and choice of partner organisations
  3. Information and knowledge management within the organisation, gender equality policy as reflected in its products and image
  4. Decision-making, staffing and human resources and organisational culture
  5. The organisation’s perception of achievement on gender equality

The project seeks to contribute to transformative change in the security sector by supporting public officials to have improved understanding of their organisation’s structural and resourcing barriers to effective gender mainstreaming. It  seeks also to give them the skills to create and enact gender sensitive and responsive policies, procedures and operations, and to secure organisational buy-in to this change.

The project is split into three key phases:

Understand: this phase involves training and supporting staff in the ISF and GS to deliver agency-specific participatory gender audits that include results and recommendations.

Learn: this phase involves the creation of agency specific review reports examining gender integration within existing training resources and curricula; tailored capacity building plans and institutional development recommendations to address gaps in ability to mainstream gender; and gender mainstreaming strategies and implementation plans for each agency.

Act: this phase involves supporting agency PGA teams to implement Quick Impact Projects, push for identified changes at the institutional level and/or deliver targeted capacity building or mentoring


  • Internal Security Forces 
  • General Directorate of General Security

March 2023 to March 2024