Date: 28 May 2010
Ramallah — The Palestinian Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA) and UNIFEM organized a workshop in Ramallah on 24-25 May to discuss the first draft of a four-year National Strategy to Combat Violence against Women (2011-2015). The workshop was attended by more than 100 participants, including Palestinian Authority officials and representatives from UN agencies and civil society organizations.
The National Strategy to Combat Violence against Women is the first of its kind in the Arab region, developed through a participatory process that has involved a wide range of actors from the West Bank and Gaza. Work on the strategy was initiated in August 2009 through a joint MDG Achievement Fund programme on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Building on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the National Strategy presents violence against women as a public phenomenon affecting Palestinian society as a whole. It is designed as a cross-sectoral framework for the implementation of commitments to end violence against women, identifying key roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders, as well as mechanisms to organize their work.
In her address, the Deputy Minister of Women's Affairs, Salwa Hdeib, highlighted the importance of ensuring solid commitment from the Palestinian Authority and its Ministries, as well as the crucial role Palestinian civil society should play in pushing for the institutionalization of the National Strategy.
At the conclusion of the two-day workshop, participants agreed on key recommendations that will be integrated into the draft. The final version of the National Strategy to Combat Violence against Women will be submitted to the Palestinian Cabinet for approval, before its official launch.
For more information, please contact Julien Vaissier, UNIFEM Project Office in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, julien.vaissier[at]unifem.org.