Gender equality starts at home

By: Ornella Najem, Communications Officer | UNDP Lebanon Photo credit: UNDP Lebanon/ Rana Sweidan

September 1, 2022

Meet Hanan and Ayham, the Lebanese Syrian couple who is reshaping traditional patriarchal roles & advocating for gender equality from their home in Bint Jbeil, South of Lebanon. Together, they are setting an example for their children and demonstrating to their local community a strong partnership in parenthood.

Alongside more than 300 women and men, the couple attended UNDP’s “Stronger Together” workshop, supported by Canada within the framework ofUNDP’s support to Women’s Economic Participation, which focused on building healthy and non-violent relationships.

“In our society, many believe that household chores are a woman’s duty and if a man takes part, it will affect his masculinity,” said Hanan.

“Some of my visitors blame me when they spot my husband doing the dishes and I always react by sharing the knowledge I have gained on equality, power balance and unpaid care work as a way to advocate for change,” she added.

Following the sessions, the couple became more aware of the importance of participatory and equal relations in all aspects of their lives including shared household decision-making, redistribution of domestic and childcare responsibilities, healthy communication, and managing conflicts effectively.

“I have experienced a major shift in my attitude and behavior at home following the sessions,” said Ayham. “I am much more patient now and I am taking part in every aspect of the household chores.”

“It is time we grow out of the misconception of masculinity because a real man would never consider his wife as unequal,” he expressed.

“At home, we teach our children what they are capable of through our actions,” he concluded. “My wife and I are keen on empowering them by breaking every outdated gender stereotype.” 

You can also check UNDP’s behavioral science online experiment conducted in partnership with UN Women to test the possible behavioral drivers that could nudge men out of the social norms in hopes of relieving women, and strengthening gender equity especially after the onset of COVID19.

Click here to watch the videos

Read Blog