Sunday, 23 June. 2024
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The Palestinian Initiatives for The Promotoion of Global Dialogue and Democracy

Gaza – 2/1/2023 – MIFTAH recently completed a training workshop on measures and regulations on family protection in the Gaza Strip. The workshop was part of MIFTAH’s strategic objectives to prioritize family issues in communities and to support local institutions in increasing awareness on citizenship and constitutional rights for Palestinian women and on combatting all forms of GBV and discrimination in Palestinian society.

The workshop’s objectives included providing institutions with important information on the legislations, laws and measures for family protection in effect in the Gaza Strip, in a bid to enhance the oversight role of CSOs in holding accountable official parties responsible for enforcing these measures and legislations. The training also included offering institutions the necessary mechanisms for managing digital and media campaigns to press for the ratification of laws and legislation that protect women’s rights.

The discussions focused on a number of points, including legal (including sharia law) rebuttals to claims from parties opposing legislation, including the Family Protection Law. They also discussed how applicable this law would be in the Gaza Strip once ratified by the President.

The participants unanimously agreed that they supported adoption of the law, giving no credence to the claims of more extreme elements in Gaza on the Family Protection Law. They called on MIFTAH to hold general, open meetings with the public to introduce them to the law and its importance, so that they could defend themselves from the extremist discourse surrounding it.

Opinions and impressions

One of the participants, Latifa Shatat, said such training workshops were crucial for every Palestinian, male and female. “It is great we are pressing for protection laws such as the Family Protection Bill. This law will have tremendous impact on society as a whole. I can say from experience as a social and mental health worker that protection is the most important element in our work, especially in cases involving women and children, who are the most vulnerable social sectors. I commend MIFTAH and anyone who participates in spreading a culture of nonviolence, protection, justice and equality.”

Meanwhile, Haifa Al Araj said the training offered important details about the Family Protection Law and also ways of conducting initiatives and activities that could produce positive results in mobilizing support it.

Another participant, Hatem Abu Ta’a, said the training was a new starting point for him as an institution director in terms of integrating the demand to implement the Family Protection Law in all advocacy and lobbying activities and programs. He said he became more aware of the impediments to the law’s implementation at the official and social level, saying, “This training reminds us to renew our calls to demand implementation and ratification of the law at the official level.”

Meanwhile, Mahmoud Abu Rabee said ratification of the Family Protection Law would be a huge step, for women and children especially. “This law will amplify women’s voices and their ability to access help with stronger and more supportive centers throughout the homeland. As a strong supporter of this bill, I want to stress on the importance of civil society institutions explaining the clauses in the bill pertaining to CEDAW and to also focus on working with parties that oppose the law in particular.”

The training workshop is part of MIFTAH’s “Policy dialogue and Good Governance” Program, which aims at influencing public policies and legislation in favor of protection for citizens’ rights in Palestinian society, based on the principles of social justice and respect for human rights.

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