Tuesday, Feb. 24th, 2015
The National Society for Democracy and Law (NSDL) organized a workshop entitled “Mechanisms of Legal Protection for Women in Wars and Catastrophes”, within the activities of “Emergency Legal Assistance to the Affected People in Rafah Due to the 2014 War on Gaza Project”, supported by UNDP/PAPP, which provides legal aids to the vulnerable and the affected groups due to Gaza war 2014, by UNDP/PAPP.
Dr. Ibrahim Muammar, chairman of NSDL, Dr. Abdulkareem Shebair, an expert in International Law, Mr. Mahmoud Wafi, a lawyer, lawyers, advocates, and journalists from Rafah.
Mr. Belal El-Najjar, a lawyer at Legal Aid Clinic No.9, opened the workshop welcoming the guests, and talking about the project and its importance, especially in Rafah. Then, Dr. Muammar talked about the international laws that secure the legal protection of women, International Humanitarian Law, international conventions, and CEDAW convention. Dr. Mummar also talked about the importance of women’s awareness in their rights and their consistency with the Palestinian legislation, considering the awareness of the international rights is a prerequisite to call for the application of human rights, praising the pivotal role legal aid clinics play in legal awareness raising and providing legal aid to women.
From his part, Dr. Shebair talked about the importance of mechanisms protect women in wars, catastrophes, and conflicts, the four Geneva conventions, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and International Criminal Law. And then he talked about Palestine joining the United Nations as an observer member about 18 months ago that supports the State of Palestine internationally, and how to activate the mechanisms that protect civilians, especially women and children, and it is a must on an authority or power to pursue the Israeli inhuman violations and activities against the Palestinians and activate the International Criminal Court and the international justice.
After that, Dr. Shebair talked about Article 55 in the four Geneva conventions, which protects married women, pregnant women, underage girls, and whole women without any discrimination, as it is a must to protect the dignity of women locally and internationally.
Then he talked about the violations committed against the Palestinian civilians in the last war on the Gaza Strip and women’s suffer due to the forced displacement from their houses is a violation against the four Geneva conventions, which protect the dignity of women. He ended his speech saying: “It is a must to pursuit of the occupation with smooth power” as the diplomatic way to access to justice.
From his part, the lawyer Mahmoud Wafi talked about the mechanism of protecting women with domestic law, the work of legal aid clinics in providing legal aid to the vulnerable women, and the pivotal role of legal aid clinics in providing to the affected women due to the last war.
He began his speech talking about legal aid clinics, saying that legal aid clinic is a recent and new matter, and women is the main part of the society, but they are most affected, and it is a must to talk about domestic lows which protect women as weak human beings in gender, not in law.
Then he talked about the role of legal aid clinics in aiding women in the legal field by their activities, which include legal awareness raising, legal consultation, and for free judicial representation in front of courts.
After that, he added, legal aid clinics works on rooting the principles of societal reconciliation by forming a social reconciliatory committee formed from a number of Mukhtars and feminist leaders who attended concentrated training courses in the legal field.
At the end of the workshop, the attendance raised some questions and inquiries, included the inquiry of Mr. Hani Mousa, the director on Ibn Khaldoun evacuation center, about violations against rights of women at evacuation centers due to the lack of awareness in rights and duties by paterfamilias toward their families, especially in out of reach areas, most of them are in the evacuation center.
Another inquiry raised by Dr. Yousuf Awadallah, the director of Rafah Health Center, about working on creating a network protects women, especially in wars and catastrophes in order to support women’s rights in Rafah.
The raised recommendations are as follows:
- Organizing legal awareness raising for paterfamilias in evacuation centers in women’s rights.
- Creating a network secures the right of women, especially in wars and catastrophes.
The attendance also stressed on the importance of the continuity of legal awareness workshops concerns about women’s rights in order to access to justice and rule of law.
At the end of the meeting, the society thanked the attendance and their concern to aware people and their promotion to role of rule in order to achieve justice.