SVF and its partner, Maghazi Women Activity Centre succeeded to organize a one day conference to conclude the project’s achievements and getting recommendations for future similar actions from the participants and speakers as well. The conference entitled a broader on “Women Movement and Challenges …..For Where” at the Palestinian Red Crescent Association, Tal Alhawa, Gaza on May 14th, 2009. It was held between 09:00 a.m. and 14:00 p.m. attended by a greater number of participants from different stakeholders, civil society representatives, active women, human rights’ specialists, community activists, legal scholars, media, universities’ students, graduates and women’s institutions. The inaugural session was opened by a welcoming word for the SVF’s director, Mr. Ibrahim Natil.
The first session tackled “Women Movement and violence phenomenon in Gaza Strip”. Mrs. Ibtesam Alza’aneen, social worker and member of the high administrative assembly of the Palestinian Women Union. During the talks, the impact of violence phenomenon in any society and the women movement role was analyzed and discussed. In her role, Mrs. Alza’aneen presented her paper on ” Women Movement in Gaza Strip between Reality and challenges” by saying that the next step requires building and formalizing firm satisfaction on the necessity of uniting women agendas through adopting mechanisms take into account women developed characteristics on the systematic level referring to importance of giving priority of general women interests over self-interests. In this context, she pointed out the necessity of achieving and fulfilling Palestinian woman needs and interests by the women movement specially stopping violence against woman besides putting works’ plans take into consideration urgent situation to achieve women requirements.
In her role, Mrs. Flora Al.Masri, legal activist discussed in detail violence phenomenon in Gaza Strip and presented her paper on ” violence phenomenon in Gaza Strip” by defining violence, violence kinds, reasons and its negative impact on woman, family and the whole community. She referred that the most important reason to spread such phenomenon is the woman herself due to her subjugating, accepting to violence as well as her ignorance to her rights beside other cultural, social, political, economic and other surrounded factors.
During the second session, Mrs. Majda Albalbesi, journalist and social worker, presented an important issue has disseminated recently in the Palestinian community largely on killing women on honor backgrounds assisting on the importance of changing the negative expression to killing on social backgrounds instead of honor issues that gives perpetrator and the community the excuse to accept such crimes. In her paper, she showed important statistics refer to increase women killing averages in Gaza Strip to reach 15 killing cases on social backgrounds issue in Gaza Strip and the West Bank during 2008. According to the present year (2009), 4 women were killed in Gaza Strip during the first three months. In the second session, Mr. Mohsen Abu Ramdan, developmental searcher, discussed in his paper ” NGO’s role to stop violence issues against woman “. He referred that in our community male dominance is the prevailing culture indicating that despite woman participation in work and education field, she lakes a lot of her rights guarantee equality citizenship.
In this context, he pointed out that violence is an international phenomenon and it connects directly to poverty that leads to a lot of social and psychological crises. Hence he indicated to the importance of NGO’s coalition to raise community and woman awareness to stop violence phenomenon against woman with assisting on the great role falls upon officials and decision-makers. In addition, he emphasized on the importance role of the schools and mosques to contribute at social changing towards community development and raising.
In the third session, ” legal institutions role at stopping violence against woman ” a paper presented by Mr. Salah Abed Al’ati, director of Independent Commission Office for Human Rights, Gaza. He criticized the violations of freedoms and human rights in Gaza that the Palestinian community witnesses daily. Accordingly, he invited community and legal organizations to take more procedures and actions and challenge obstacles and difficulties face them especially in an environment with legal system disables to protect citizens rights. furthermore, he assisted on the necessity of legal protection to apply law as well as independent judicial authority either in Gaza or the West Bank. In his role, Mr. Talal Okal presented a paper on” violence against woman from the media perspective”. He assisted that the Palestinian media plays an important role at challenging and facing the occupation but it lakes its creativeness when it tackles and discusses social problems and issues especially violence against woman. Therefore, the media should play an important role in highlighting women role models by creating discussions with families, opening new perspectives for individuals and slowly but surely, contributing to making change within the society.
In conclusion, the participants assisted on the importance of adopting practical strategies and mechanisms of women’s institutions and bodies to assist woman issues and merging those strategies with surrounded environment to target all groups of women specially the marginal areas. Besides, the participants emphasized that there is a great opportunity to use media as a tool to give Palestinian society and Palestinian women in specific a real voice, face and full-life and representation.