ABAAD– Resource Center for Gender Equality is a UN ECOSOC accredited organization that aims to achieve gender equality as an essential condition to sustainable social and economic development in the MENA region.
The dynamic team is comprised of more than 120 dedicated activists, lawyers, consultants, social workers, volunteers and researchers, who creatively test new approaches as part of a larger effort to achieve an equitable society, free of hegemonic masculinities and violence against women.
To eliminate Gender-Based Violence, ABAAD realizes that unfair laws must be changed, community behaviour should shift away from patriarchal practices and GBV survivors who suffer from extreme physical and psychological trauma should receive comprehensive, survivor-centred quality care services.
To do that, ABAAD developed a five-pillar strategy that aims at:
- advocating for fair gender policies and laws,
- reducing all forms of gender-based violence and mitigating its harmful effects on GBV survivors,
- empowering women and girls and increasing their agency,
- providing women and girls, especially those affected by humanitarian crises, with appropriate, relevant and gender-sensitive care and protection services; and,
- enhancing civil and public organizations’ capacities and skills to plan, work with and mainstream gender-related issues.
ABAAD effecitvely collaborates with governmental partners, local and international NGOs, political leaders from all groups, the media and religious leaders from different confessions.
ABAAD has also been the co-chair of the National Technical Task Force to End GBV against Women and Girls (alongside the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs) since 2012.
ABAAD advocates for the development and implementation of policies and laws that enhance women’s effective participation, through a rights-based approach that would bring about tangible change to gender justice. With the purpose of ending gender-based violence, ABAAD adopts a holistic care approach to provide protection and support services to GBV survivors/right holders during times of peace, war and disasters. As a leading agency on gender equality in the MENA region, ABAAD also seeks to support and build the capacities of local, regional and international entities that are working on protection programmes, case management, Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), Mental Health & Psychosocial Support and sexualities. Through its pioneer ‘’Masculinities’’ programme, ABAAD effectively engages men in working towards achieving an equitable society, free of hegemonic masculinities and violence against women.
Based on its five-pillar strategy, ABAAD has developed a comprehensive portfolio of programs that targets women and girls of all age groups from both host and refugee populations, men and boys of all age groups and people affected by crisis and disasters. ABAAD's through its programs and approach aims, not only to build the resilience and agency of GBV survivors and provide them with health, legal, social and economic services but aim at resolving the root causes that cause these gender inequalities and abuses through changing discriminatory laws and the attitude of the local community regarding gender roles and the use of violence.
Our projects and activities have a broad reach to refugees & right holders, inclusively from various gender, age nationalities and special needs, as we work across Lebanon and currently operate 12 Women and Girls Safe Spaces (WGSS) & Family Support Units (FSU) in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA), 3 Men Centers providing psychological rehabilitation services for men with violent behaviors and 3 Emergency Safe Shelters for Women and Girls survivors of GBV in life threatening situation.
For those unable to access ABAAD centers and services, ABAAD goes to them through the Mobile Bus ‘’Jina Al Dar Programme’’. The bus tours in the most marginalized areas, towns and villages with a specialized team aiming to provide services on the prevention and reduction of all forms violence against women and girls and fostering social stabilities in host communities.
Our portfolio includes:
1. Direct care services that include:
- “Al Dar” program that provides a free, safe and temporary housing for women at risk or survivors of GBV, including single and married women and their children. Al Dar also provides crisis counselling, legal rights counselling, emergency support, psychosocial support, access to resources and referrals to external service providers.
- "Women and Girls Safe Spaces" program provides a safe, non-stigmatising environment for women and girl survivors of GBV and their children to receive comprehensive holistic care services.
- The ''Men Center'' program aims to engage men and provide support at the individual, family, couples and community level, with the aim of promoting non-violent behavior and reinforcing positive familial and social relationships.
2. Focused programs targeting gender equality, advocacy, primary prevention, masculinities, emergency repose, SRHR and sexuality and a cross-border program mainly in Syria.
3. National campaigns and initiatives, such as:
- Abolishing Article 522 from the Lebanese Penal Code. The #Undress522 national campaign was spearheaded by ABAAD and resulted in abolishing Article 522 from the Lebanese Penal Code Watch on Youtube - Repealing #Article522: a case study from Lebanon. This national campaign also led to enhancing coordination for SGBV prevention and improving response among the humanitarian actors, local service providers and government agencies (such as the Ministry of Social Affairs, MoSA, the Ministry of Public Health, MoPH, and the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, MoI).
- Development of GBV case management ''National Standard Operating Procedures'' (SOPs). The SOPs aim at providing a unified and standardized road map and tools to guide the work of service providers, ministries, the police, NGOs, and other frontliners with GBV survivors in Lebanon.
For more information, please visit our website.
As a leading actor on gender equality in Lebanon and the region, ABAAD is perceived as a reliable reference and partner by the local, regional and international entities that promote gender equality, peacebuilding and sustainable development.
ABAAD has been serving on the steering committee of the Lebanon Humanitarian & Development NGOS Forum (LHDF), and also sits on the Advisory Board of the Lebanon Humanitarian Fund (LHF). For the past two years, has been actively engaged with the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) by attending and contributing to the periodic meetings as the voice & perspective of civil society in Lebanon. In addition to that, ABAAD is a representative of the Local NGOs in the Protection Core Group, and attends the following Working Groups (WG): the Durable Solutions Work Group, the Protection WG, Child Protection WG, SGBV TF, CMR WG and MHPSS TF, both on a central and sub-regional levels.
ABAAD recently signed an agreement with Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) to enhance gender sensitivity of the educational curricula in Lebanon. Our effective relationships with UN agencies, donors, INGOs, Local NGOs in addition to relevant sectoral ministries including MoSA, MoPH\National Mental Health program, Ministry of Interior & Municipalities, Ministry of Justice and MEHE, brings a leverage of securing advocacy & policy reform work with great reach within ministries.
Furthermore, due to our Special Consultative Status at the UN ECOSOC and membership in the “UN Global Compact”, local advocacy messages can be brought on regional & global policy platforms for further advocacy impact.
We look forward to joining forces with more than 4000 CSOs to share best practices and highlight common solutions to common challenges!