Ramallah, December 11th 2009
Yesterday the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) concluded its two-week campaign to end violence against women in the Ramallah Womens’ Training Centre. In attendance were Ms. Karen Abu Zayd, UNRWA’s outgoing Commissioner-General, Barbara Shenstone, Director of UNRWA’s operations in the West Bank, and Her Excellency the Minister of Women’s Affairs Mrs. Rabiha Diab, as well a diverse audience of activists, officials and students of UNRWA schools and training centres.
The ceremony opened with the national anthem and a speech by Abu Zayd focusing on the importance of "the morale of Palestinian women" whether in exile or under occupation, and the Agency’s efforts to combat gender-based violence in an environment where human rights violation are frequent. A speech by Diab focused on the role of women in govenrment, and the preservation of women’s rights though Palestinian legislation and ministerial decisionmaking.
Light entertainment was also on hand courtesy of students from UNRWA schools, who performed music and song. Posters and banners calling for an end to gender-based violence were also festooned around the centre. The event ended with the presentation of a film designed to provoke discussion.
UNRWA organized a campaign against violence against women from the November 25th 2009 until December 11th 2009, to coincide with an international campaign on the issue. Yesterday’s event marked the final day of that campaign.
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