Adolescent Girls in Crisis: Voices from Beirut

The report focuses on the voices of adolescent girls (10-19) living in Beirut and its suburbs (Burj Hammoud, Burj al Barajne, Shatila) in order to understand how girls navigate public spaces in these areas and the barriers that stand in their way or the mechanisms that are in place to support them, and to find ways to improve adolescent girls’ opportunities in Beirut. The study includes the voices of Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian (from Lebanon and newly displaced from Syria) and Iraqi and other nationality participants. Data was collected through questionnaires and through semi-structured focus group discussions. Findings pointed to girls not feeling safe both in and outside the house, as they experienced, witnessed and perpetrated violence. Girls feared and expected to be harassed to be exposed to sexual violence. Girls were discriminated against because of their nationality, their freedom of movement was restricted, especially the older they got, and they felt isolated. Restriction of movement was a result of parental fears and expectations of what is accepted and expected from adolescent girls. Girls’ access to education was limited for several reasons, but they all valued education.

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