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

Ramallah – MIFTAH recently held a training workshop for gender advisory committee members in the security services. The workshop was part of its “Democracy and Good Governance Program,” aimed at influencing public policies and local legislation in the promotion of citizens’ rights in Palestinian society, based on the principles of democracy and good governance. The training was held over three days, with a focus on CEDAW and UNSCR1325 and MIFTAH’s guidebook. The objective of the workshop was to build the capacities of Palestinian security services’ gender units in following up on human rights issues, based on the information and tools included in the guidebook.

Trainer Arine Dweikat explained that the training revolved around MIFTAH’s manual on the use of CEDAW and UNSCR1325 in the work of Palestinian security services. She said the general objective of the training was to elevate the performance of security services in implementing international agreements, including CEDAW, in their response to issues pertaining to Palestinian women and girls. This entailed training representatives from the security establishment’s gender advisory committee on information on CEDAW and UN resolutions pertaining to the WPS agenda, in a bid to nationalize these agreements and resolutions within the security sector. Ultimately, she maintained, this was to integrate gender issues in the policies and procedures of security services to achieve justice based on equality between the sexes in Palestine.

Focal points:

Dweikat continued that the training workshop included a background on the historical development of women’s rights in the UN system and the international mechanisms for the protection of women’s rights, particularly those pertaining to the official and shadow reports and the UN rapporteur’s report on women’s issues, the ICC and international humanitarian law. She said it aimed to unify concepts associated with women’s rights such as equality, non-discrimination, gender and GBV. The workshop also discussed the challenges blocking implementation of the National Referral System for battered women and the Family Protection Bill, emphasizing on the importance of executing the good practices proposed in the manual in dealing with battered women in the private and public space.

Meanwhile, the recommendations called for continuous efforts with gender and other units in Palestinian security services towards changing preconceptions about CEDAW and human rights treaties in general. They also called for promoting the professionalism of security services as part of the executive authority in ensuring the state’s commitment to its duty in respecting, protecting and adhering to human rights treaties.

Najwa Sanduka-Yaghi, from MIFTAH’s empowerment and training unit, said the workshop is part of a series of interventions aimed at empowering the relevant parties in the use of MIFTAH’s manual. She explained that the guidebook was published in 2021 within efforts to enact the WPS agenda in Palestine. Sanduka-Yaghi stated that in the period between May and June, MIFTAH held a number of training workshops in the Gaza Strip and West Bank in coordination with UNWOMEN, which targeted a youth group ( Youth Gender Innovation, Agora) established by UNWOMEN in 2018. The group received intensive training on the use of the MIFTAH manual for security services and the manual on UN mechanisms pertaining to the WPS agenda in Palestine.

The youth group (male and female) emphasized the importance of the manuals on treaties and mechanisms vis-à-vis their applicability to Palestine. They also stressed on the importance of expanding the scope of targeted youth in all fields and sectors to press for a change at the level of policies and laws regarding protection for women. This is in addition to mechanisms for protection and accountability of the Israeli occupation for its human rights violations against Palestinian women.

Meanwhile, MIFTAH’s Gaza Strip Officer, Shadia Al Ghoul said the interventions were part of the organization’s contribution to the process of law enforcement and prompting principles of democracy and human rights, on the basis of national laws and legislation, international resolutions and agreements signed by Palestine since 2014. She also said they were part of MIFTAH’s efforts towards promoting the participation of Palestinian women in decision-making positons and guaranteeing their security, protection and easy access to justice.

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