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.