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United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
3 June 2005
UNESCO Launches Palestine Women’s Resource Center
UNESCO and the Palestine Ministry of Women’s Affairs have signed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning the establishment of a Palestine Women’s Resource Center (PWRC).
Located in Ramallah, the Center will serve as an observatory and clearinghouse on information related to women’s issues in the Palestinian National Authority.
In addition to its function as a resource and documentation center, it will carry out networking, advocacy and policy-oriented research for gender equality and the human rights of Palestinian women. Research priorities will be legislation for women’s rights, causes and consequences of women’s poverty, violence against women, and women’s political participation.
The Center is the first of its kind to be established in an Arab country outside the Maghreb region. Through on-line databases, reference materials, research projects, policy briefs and internships, it will help build human and institutional capacities in governmental and non-governmental women’s organizations, and facilitate communication flows and networking as well as advocacy of gender-sensitive issues within Palestinian society. It will also promote awareness-raising campaigns, particularly in regards to the enforcement of existing laws that protect the rights of women.
UNESCO will allocate a budget of $200,000 to the establishment of the PWRC and an additional $150,000 to cover staff and operational costs and research activities for the period 2006-2007. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs will provide office space for the Center. UNESCO will seek to mobilize extra-budgetary funding for the Center to allow the hiring of additional experts and researchers.
The official inauguration of the Center is foreseen to take place in November 2005.