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A Vision for Palestinian Womens Rights Organizations based on the Global Study on the Implementation of UNSCR 1325
(Ten strategies for tackling issues pertaining to Women, Peace and Security)
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Date posted: October 10, 2018
By MIFTAH

MIFTAH recently organized a workshop in which the draft of an analytical report on violations of Palestinian women and girls social and security rights in the Gaza Strip during the Palestinian political division was presented as part of the activities and events of the Oxfam-funded project Promoting Womens Participation in Peace and Security Building. The workshop hosted several representatives from civil society and government institutions, from the General Union of Palestinian Women and a number of academics interested in Palestinian universities.

The participants in the workshop, which was conducted via videoconferencing with the Gaza Strip, stressed on the importance of the report and called for a renewal of the womens movement against the division. They said past experiences should be utilized to develop ways to achieve national reconciliation and for popular involvement for the sake of preserving the national project. This, they said, required writing and sending memos and using the media to shed light on violations and on popular actions. It also required social sectors to come together and put pressure on all parties related to the reconciliation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The report, presented by researcher Hiba Al Danaf, showcased several facts which indicated that the negative impacts of the division have exceeded political boundaries and extended into the depths of Palestinian social fabric. It said the division has impacted individual social rights especially for women, in contravention with international conventions, which stipulate the protection of social rights for all societal sectors.

The report showcased the violations of security rights, which Palestinian women in the Gaza Strip have been subjected to throughout the political division, the most significant of which are: the right to the freedom of opinion and expression and the right to a free press; violation of the right to peaceful gathering and protest; personal freedom; protection from arbitrary arrest and detention; the right to physical safety and prevention of torture; and the right to movement and travel which has been further restricted by the division over and above the divisions imposed by the siege on the Gaza Strip. In all, the division created a climate that does not respect differences and pluralism or the exercise of rights and freedoms.

The division constituted a major obstacle to committing to the CEDAW agreement and an obstacle to taking any measures which could improve the state of human rights in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in accordance with obligations stipulated in international agreements signed by the State of Palestine.

Furthermore, the social rights of women were affected by the division in that it stunted the provision of their necessary and humanitarian needs and denied individuals of their basic livelihoods. This all had psychological, social and economic repercussions on womens rights, such as the right to a reasonable and humane standard of living, the right to housing and to receiving medical treatment, in addition to respect for workers rights and work conditions. This right includes determining minimum wage, setting work hours, providing reasonable working conditions, protection from unemployment, guaranteeing equal wage for the same job, and the right to education. In this regard, the session pointed out discriminatory policies, which added an additional burden to women already struggling under the weight of Israeli occupation policies.

This workshop is part of MIFTAHs efforts to provide spaces for discussion that contribute to promoting concepts of democracy and human rights, enshrined in the principles of international legitimacy and treaties to which Palestine has committed. It is also part of the organizations efforts to take the necessary measures to guarantee that these rights are implemented and that social, economic, political and legal challenges are removed.

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