Lebanon

Voices of adolescent girls take centre stage in new exhibition on sexual and gender-based violence [EN/AR]

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15 December 2017
Beirut, Lebanon

An exhibition showcasing work by adolescent girls from across Lebanon opened at Beit Beirut today, sending a clear message from girls in Lebanon – end sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) once and for all.

The exhibition follows the end of this year’s ‘#16days of Activism against SGBV’ campaign – the theme of which was, “Leave No One Behind: Ending Violence against Women and Girls.”

“This exhibition puts the voices of girls front and centre – so they can speak out about the devastating impact of sexual and gender-based violence and call on society to make the change they need,” said Mireille Girard, UNHCR’s Representative in Lebanon who opened the exhibition on behalf of UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator, Philippe Lazzarini. “Girls across Lebanon and the world have a right to pursue their dreams and aspirations free from abuse or the fear of violence in their homes and communities,” she added.

Girls in particular often say how they feel isolated and have little control over their own lives. Since 2015, the UN in Lebanon has been expanding its focus on adolescents and youth through life skills and social activities, which aim to build trust and self-confidence and encourage them to come forward and seek help when needed.

The exhibition’s pictures, videos and drawings, produced by adolescent girls in Lebanon, target their messages to both the international community and their own communities.

Supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the SGBV Taskforce, a body coordinating aid efforts to end SGBV – the exhibition is also intended to highlight that while the campaign may have ended, the work continues year-round.

The exhibition was also made possible with the cooperation of Lebanon’s Ministry of Social Affairs, the Municipality of Beirut and 10 national and international NGO’s who worked with adolescent girls in Lebanon to produce the works that are part of the exhibition.

Background:

  • 1 in 3 women across the world suffer some form of Gender-Based Violence in their lifetime. Every 10 minutes, somewhere in the world an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence.

  • In Lebanon, SGBV is one of the main protection concerns affecting Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian women, girls, men and boys. As of September 2017, 18 percent of reported SGBV incidents involved children. It is important to highlight that men and boys are also often subject to SGBV.

  • Women and girls in particular continue to feel unsafe in their homes, with 76 percent of reported incidents taking place at the survivor’s and perpetrator’s house.

  • Violence affects not only the abused, but entire families, communities and society as a whole. The UN and other aid partners in Lebanon are committed to working central and local authorities, as well as civil society to end sexual and gender based violence.

The exhibition is open for the public on December 15th from 11.30am to 1.30pm.

Media contacts:

UNHCR: Scott Craig, craigs@unhcr.org, +961 71 910 332 / Lisa Abou Khaled, aboukhal@unhcr.org, +961 71 880 070

UNICEF: Blanche Baz, bbaz@unicef.org, +961 76 93 26 66