UNRWA GENDER INITIATIVE CELEBRATED “YOUR LIFE IS IMPORTANT TO US” AT THE CLOSING CEREMONY
08 June 2016
The “Your Life Is Important to Us” initiative was implemented by six women who were selected in consultation with eight Community Based Organizations (CBOs).It included activities such as operetta, open discussions and outreach activities. Through these activities women were promoting messages to prevent and to stop GBV with a focus on early marriage, inheritance rights, work discrimination and sexual abuse.
“Your Life Is Important to Us” is one of five initiatives selected by UNRWA GIP through which a total of 38women were supported to implement their own proposals in the five governorates of the Gaza Strip. All five initiatives were aiming to promote women and community participation in preventing GBV and eventually creating advocacy groups among women. The five initiatives focused on activities like community outreach sessions, establishing blogs or social media groups, and organizing an art exhibition on GBV.
Rawan Al Swiesi, one of the women who participated at the operetta commented that “A woman has the right to be educated just like a man, we are equal.” “Through my participation in this initiative, I wanted to have an impact and to achieve equality among men and women in our society," she added.
The discussion groups on GBV were implemented in areas where poverty and ignorance complicate life, especially for women. However, these discussion groups motivate women in these areas to speak up, raise their problems and seek advice. “Some cases talked to us and asked for help,” commented Amal Abu Rekab, Gaza Area Field Coordinator.
To support community participation in GBV prevention UNRWA GI conducted30 awareness raising discussion groups as a part of the Equality in Action project funded by the Government of Norway. These sessions targeted 522 community members of which 183 were women, 187 men and 152 youth of which 90 young men and 62 young women.
Both the GBV Initiatives and the awareness sessions conducted aimed at educating women, men and youth with the skills needed to address the violence they experience in their homes as well as to prevent GBV in the community.
UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall, projected for 2016 to stand at US$ 81 million. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance .
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