Thursday, 8 December. 2022
Your Key to Palestine
The Palestinian Initiatives for The Promotoion of Global Dialogue and Democracy

Ramallah – 1/6/2022 – MIFTAH, in partnership with “Kayan” organization and cooperation with the General Union of Palestinian Women, the coordinating body for The Civic Women’s Coalition for the Implementation of CEDAW, held a two-day workshop for coalition members. The workshop revolved around courses for action in international advocacy and lobbying for the protection of Jerusalemite women in a bid to encourage Jerusalemite institutions at the local and international levels to share facts regarding Palestinian women in the city and Israel’s discriminatory and racist measures and policies against them.

The courses of action were determined in three tracks as follows: continuous inflow of facts and data on violations against Palestinian women and girls in Jerusalem; increasing preparedness among Jerusalemites institutions in providing documentation and reports; disseminating data in accordance with local and international standards; broadening the circle of networking and alliance-building to support international advocacy efforts by the Coalition’s institutions, especially those working in Jerusalem.

This workshop is part of ongoing efforts to support CEDAW coalition institutions. In this regard, the Jerusalem-based institutions released several reports on the status of Jerusalemite women vis-à-vis rights included in CEDAW, with a focus on the right to health, education, economic rights, personal status, family reunification and the right to political participation. Documentation and testimonials were collected on Israeli-government violations against Jerusalemite women in the city. Currently, the institutions are working on merging the documentations and analytical data into one shadow report to be used by Civic Coalition institutions in statements, positions and releases in conjunction with relevant committees, including the CEDAW follow-up committee on Israel’s report, reports by special UN rapporteurs and related EU missions.

In the opening session, the three partner institutions, MIFTAH, Kayan and GUPW, pointed to the importance of collective action and concerted efforts by institutions to widely disseminate Israeli occupation violations against the Palestinian people, women in particular. MIFTAH representative, Lamis Shuaibi, stated that support for institutions in their international advocacy efforts is part of MIFTAH’s strategy in disseminating the Palestinian narrative. She said this was achieved though shedding light on factual evidence on Israeli violations and its policy of systematic racial discrimination towards the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory, with a focus on Jerusalem. These are all challenges to the Palestinians, including Palestinian women, Shuaibi maintained, in their quest for self-determination, peace and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state.

Kayan representative, Alhan Nahhas also stressed on the importance of Jerusalem-based institutions in collecting data and documentation on violations, which help to support the data and information to be used later in responding to Israel’s CEDAW committee report.

GUPW representative and CEDAW Civic Coalition coordinator Muna Khalili pointed to the achievements of member institutions, including releasing reports and following up with committees on the implementation of CEDAW, both at the local or international level. She said the Coalition was currently following up on international mechanisms and standards developed for CSO responses to member-state reports. She said they were currently developing a ‘list of issues” for follow-up as an alternative to shadow reports, maintaining that this requires support from the coalition institutions in preparing documents to respond to Israel’s report and to support efforts by Palestinian institutions in their international advocacy efforts.

The workshop included a presentation of factsheets and a summary of reports addressing five focal points within CEDAW and its implementation in Jerusalem. It also addressed UN and international mechanisms for supporting the Coalition’s efforts in international lobbying and advocacy with specialized committees and rapporteurs on human rights, women, violence and racial discrimination in the occupied Palestinian territory. Furthermore, the sessions included the formulation of strategic approaches that determine courses of action within lobbying and advocacy efforts for Palestinian women’s issues in occupied Jerusalem. The three tracks formed the basis of action plans for practical interventions within the scope of international mechanisms available at the level of the HRC, branch committees, special EU missions and European parliament delegations. They also aim to give more media visibility to the Coalition’s member institutions and invest in social media platforms in releasing and disseminating facts, data and information.

Meanwhile, Kayan representative and international litigation expert in UN agencies, Dr. Mohammed Zeidan, said the workshop was part of similar efforts focusing on the practical aspects of the litigation process, including the best way to formulate strategic foundations for litigation on issues pertaining to Palestinian women’s rights in Jerusalem.

Zeidan stated that the next move was to invest in the various strategies and proposals to formulate a draft document for litigation before formulating a unified final strategy to work with the UN, EU and international community.

Najwa Odeh, member of the GUPW Secretariat said the field workers were given training on how to fill out documentation surveys according to international standards, resulting in accurate results that closely portray the reality on the ground.

The second stage of the training, Odeh maintained, is focused on ways to employ these reports in lobbying and advocacy campaigns to expose Israeli occupation measures and violations.

Director General of “Shams”, Fadwa Khader, said the workshop gave the participants the tools on how to use this information in international advocacy campaigns to expose Israeli violations against women in Jerusalem and how to sustain these efforts for the ultimate purpose of holding Israel accountable for these violations.

Khawla Odeh Abu Diab, consultant for “Juthur”, said the workshop “enhanced our abilities and concepts and provided us with valuable information in the area of human rights; now I have much more knowledge and understanding of rights in areas such as education, health, economics and community participation.”

She also stressed on the need for the training process to be ongoing and sustainable that information and knowledge could be more widely shared among all institutions and activists in the field.

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