This paper examines the 2019–2023 Lebanese Women, Peace and Security (WPS) National Action Plan (NAP) as a case study for WPS NAP provisions on the inclusion of women refugees. The paper documents the Lebanese WPS NAP’s drafting process and implementation status and asks, given Lebanon’s large refugee population, whether the WPS NAP has consulted with women refugees, referenced their needs, or suggested adequate responses to their concerns. Based on responses from interviews, we argue that the Lebanese NAP has not adequately included women refugee’s needs and concerns. Specifically, we find that the Lebanese NAP, similar to other Lebanese government documents, categorizes the refugee population into Palestinian “refugees” and Syrian “displaced” individuals, a semantic choice that creates a legal distinction between these two groups and that has the effect of shielding the Lebanese government from the responsibility of extending the same legal rights to Syrian refugees as Palestinian refugees. We note that the Lebanese NAP is not alone in inadequately addressing refugee concerns. According to our research, most NAPs globally have little to no language on domestic refugee inclusion in peacebuilding or conflict prevention. Given the unique security needs of refugee women, the paper therefore asserts the importance of including women refugees and their concerns as an internally focused priority in NAPs. Based on the criticisms raised throughout our data analysis, the paper concludes by providing recommendations, for future iterations of the Lebanese NAP, as well as future iterations of WPS NAPs more broadly, in terms of meaningfully considering the needs of women in refugee communities.
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