The Palestinian Cabinet endorsed a nine-year national strategic plan to combat violence against women in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), the first of its kind in the Arab region developed through a bottom-up approach. Officially adopted on 11 January 2011 and announced at the Palestinian Ministry of Women’s Affairs during a press conference today, the strategy takes on a cross-sector approach, recognizing violence against women as a development issue affecting the social, economic and political systems of Palestinian society.
The Palestinian Ministry of Women’s Affairs, with the support of UN Women, led the development process of the territory’s National Strategic Plan to Combat Violence against Women (2011-2019). The Strategy includes inputs from a range of sources, including women’s organizations, civil society, community organizations, private sector, ministries and women refugees.
UN Resident Coordinator for the oPt Maxwell Gaylard stressed the importance of such a strategy for women in the territory’s context, and assured strong UN involvement in supporting the implementation of the Strategic Plan. Gaylard was one of a number of participants at the press conference, attended by the Palestinian Minister of Women’s Affairs Rabiha Diab and Director of the Palestinian Government Media Centre Ghassan Al-Khatib.
While Palestinian men are most vulnerable to conflict-related violence, women are frequently exposed to violence from a wide range of sources, including the conflict with Israel, the intra-Palestinian divide and domestic violence. According to a 2010 World Bank gender study of the region, the conflict has permeated various aspects of Palestinian life, from the economic to the domestic level.
The work behind the Strategic Plan took part within the framework of the three-year Millennium Development Goals Trust Fund Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment programme, financed by the Government of Spain and bringing together six UN agencies. The Strategic Plan is complementary to the Palestinian Authority’s 2011-2013 Cross-Sectoral National Gender Strategy, which considers violence as one of its main themes.
For more information, contact Julien Vaissier, UN Women, Media and Communications Officer, occupied Palestinian territory, julien.vaissier[at]unwomen.org, 05 43 44 23 58