The National Society for Democracy and Law (NSDL) organized a workshop entitled “Legal Protection Mechanisms Reduce Violence Against Women”. This workshop was organized on Monday, 14/03/2016 in the hall of Al-Sa’ada Land Resort, where 68 persons including lawyers, journalists, informal reconciliatory figures, representatives of CSOs attended. The three key speakers of the workshop were Dr. Ibrahim Muamar, chairman of NSDL, Mrs. Zainab Al-Ghonaimy, chairwoman of Center for Women’s Legal Research & Consulting, and Mrs. Amal Hamad, the head of General Union of Palestinian Women in the Gaza Strip, in addition to the guest of the workshop, Mrs. Areej Al-Ashhab, Sawasya project associate.

This workshop comes within “Don’t  Violate Half of Society” lobby and advocacy campaign, which comes within Strengthening the Role of Female Lawyers in Defending Women’s Rights in Southern Gaza Project, supported by UNDP/UN Women Joint Programme, Strengthening the Rule of Law: Justice and Security for the Palestinian people “Sawasya”.

Mr. Belal Al-Najjar, a lawyer in NSDL legal aid clinic opened the workshop welcoming the key speakers, the guests and the attendees. Then he made a brief speech about NSDL, its activities, the services it provides and Strengthening the Role of Female Lawyers in Defending Women’s Rights in Southern Gaza Project.

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Then, Dr. Muamar discussed women’s rights development stages, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, women’s rights to political participation, married women’s citizenship rights, methods of registering marriage deeds, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, its protocols, CEDAW, Resolution (1325) protection of women in armed conflicts, and resolution (1820) protection of women from sexual abuse in armed conflicts.

After that, Mrs. Al-Ghonaimy identified Gender Based Violence (GBV), legal protection of women in the Palestinian legislations, and do they protect women from violence? She stated that there are Palestinian legislations protect women from violence, but the problem is in applying these legislations, and this enhances violence and discrimination against women.

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Mrs. Hamad discussed forms of violence against women, reasons of violence including the Israeli occupation, Palestinian division, deteriorated economic conditions, unemployment, the imposed siege on the Gaza Strip, and the masculine culture which dominates the Palestinian society. She mentioned that the Palestinian division affected the judicial system in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, where verdicts by Gaza courts are not effective in West bank and verdicts by West Bank courts are not effective in the Gaza Strip. And she discussed the marginalization of women in the political participation.

From her part, Mrs. Al-Ashhab welcomed the attendance, discussed the importance of reducing violence against women, and the importance of the project, where it is an intervention of UN Women in the Gaza Strip to reduce violence against women and it enhances access to justice in the Palestinian Society.

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Finally, the key speakers opened discussion door before the attendance, and they suggested the following recommendations:

  • Amending Penalties Law (74) for the year 1936 AD.
  • Legislating laws protect women from violence;
  • Reactivating alimony fund in the Gaza Strip;
  • Enhancing women to participate in the political campaigns and decision-making; and

Increasing legal awareness workshop for women.