OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES: Palestinian Cabinet Endorses First National Strategy to Combat Violence against Women

Monday, January 17, 2011
Western Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

The Palestinian Cabinet endorsed a nine-year national strategic plan to combat violence again women in the occupied Palestinian territory, the first of its kind in the Arab region. Officially adopted on 11 January 2011 and announced at the Palestinian Ministry of Women's Affairs at 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 UN Women, led the development process of the region's National Strategy to Combat Violence against Women (2011-2019).

UN Resident Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory Maxwell Gaylard stressed the importance of such a strategy for women in the context of Palestine's current political state, 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 Prime Minister H.E. Salam Fayyad and Palestinian Minister of Women's Affairs Rabiha Diab.

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 conflict and domestic violence. According to a World Bank gender study of the region in 2010, the conflict has permeated various aspects of Palestinian life, from the economic to the domestic level. For instance, based on the limited data available, unemployment rates among men and their diminishing roles in the economic sphere has heightened tensions in the private sphere, influencing rates of domestic violence, states the report.

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