The NSDL organized in cooperation with the Catholic Relief services (CRS) a workshop on the impact of the phenomenon of violence on woman. The meeting was held in 30/10/2007 in the Hall of Annasr Charity in the Rafah governorate. The participants were Mrs. Awatef Abu Hlayyel the director of the Child and Woman Section in the Rafah Governorate, Mrs. Rana Abu Sableh the representative of the Society Centre in Khanyounis governorate, Mr. Ahmad Avu Assaker the executive manager of the NSDL; in addition to tens of women from Annassr area.

The project coordinator Younis Abu Lebdah opened the meeting and identified the project and its objectives. He praised the role of the CRS in supporting youth by paying attention to their problems and presenting solutions for them. Mrs. Awatef Abu Hlayyel talked about the situation of women in the Palestinian society as a mother, a wife, a daughter of a martyr or a detainee in the Israeli jails, and the status of woman in the political and parliamentary life. She came across the categorization of violence and classified it into two categories: violence inside house, and violence outside house. Concerning the forms of violence, she identified them as physical, psychological, sexual, legal, and economic. She considered that the woman itself could be responsible for some forms of violence against her through her acceptance and submissiveness, encouraging thus the other part to go farther. Abu Hlayyed added that there is cultural causes for such a trend in some women which are manifested in ignorance of rights and duties and lacking the knowledge of how to deal with the other part.

Concerning the causes related to the educational background, she stated that the violent milieu in which the individual was brought up generates violence inside him, and creates for his a hesitant and weak personality leading him to compensate this weakness in the future with practicing violence on the other weaker part, i.e. the woman. This case of violence constitutes 83 percent of the cases of violence, where the traditions and inherited norms gives the right to males to practice violence on females. There are many benighted inherited norms that implies the discrimination between males and females and give the male the right to exert his hegemony, and draconian authority on females. The economic circumstances have also its role in this violence; the breadwinner, who is usually the male, gives vent to his annoyance in practicing violence on the woman.

Abu Hlayyel came across the violence of governments and authorities, where causes of violence may occupy a wider range by issuing laws and legislations that incriminate women or vindicate laws in sake of those who practice violence against her.

On her part, Rana Abu Sbleh talked about the phenomenon of killing females on ground of purity and dignity. She questioned to how long the inherited traditions and will remain predominant instead of law and jurisdiction. She exposed statistics relating to the phenomenon of violence against woman:

– 52 % of the Palestinian woman are subjected to beating at least once a year.

– 47 % of the Jordanian women are subjected to beating perpetually.

– 30 % of the American women are subjected to physical violence by their husband.

– 95 % of violence of victims in France are women.

– 8 out of every ten victims of violence in India are women.

– 60 % of the in habitants of the west bank and Gaza below 19 years are subjected to physical and verbal threatening, chasing, and detention.

Ahmad Abu assaker affirmed that the phenomenon of violence against woman manifests a blatant violation of the human rights, in addition of being considered as a form of discrimination on the basis of sex that defies international agreements and bonds, especially the United Nations Charter and the agreement of eradicate all forms discrimination against women. He added that ending the discrimination requires toilsome efforts to change the violent and aggressive behaviour, which won’t be realised but by the participation of particular institutions without the other institutions or social segments. The phenomenon is social, and requires thus the conjugated efforts of all member of society, each with his portion capability, role, and awareness.

Then, Abu Assaker directed the discussions with the guest and audience on the phenomenon and the means to overcome it.

The participant women revealed their thanks ad appreciation to the Catholic Relief Services for holding the meeting, which participatd in raising the awareness of woman of the causes of this phenonmenon and the means to overcome it.

The participant called upon all sectors of society to confront this phenonmenon and all the other phenomena rampant in the society. The participant emphasized on the following:

– the necessity of supporting the victims of violence against woman.

– Creating centre to receive the victim women and support the psychologically.

– The necessity of implementing the role of the mass media in promulgating an anti-culture to violence against woman.

– Returning to the divine law and the Islamic legislation system which guarantees for the woman its full rights and dignity.

– Carrying out activities for raising the social awareness whether among the female milieu or the whole society in general, for it is necessary for the woman to know its rights and how to defend them.

The participants also recommended the such activities and meetings be intensified especially in the marginalised areas.