Ramallah, September 12th, 2019 – Israa Ghrayeb’s death is still at the center of the Palestinian news and is keeping a light on the problem of the gender-based violence. While the thesis of feminicide becomes stronger, Palestinians demonstrate in the streets asking President Mahmoud Abbas to approve the Family Protection Bill, a law proposal for women and children rights still pending due to the national legislative block. The Family Protection Bill would align Palestinian social laws with international human rights standards, overtaking the current Jordanian law about this kind of crimes applied in the Palestinian territories.
The Italian Cooperation is highly committed since more than ten years to combat gender-based violence in Palestine. AICS Jerusalem’s Human right and Gender equality programme currently includes 10 different development projects for a total amount of around 17 million euro. From multilateral initiative in partnership with UNWOMEN, UNFPA and UNRWA to bilateral projects, that are enhancing our relationships with the Ministries of Women’s Affairs, Social Development, Justice and Education, several specific interventions supporting local organizations are implemented.
Among these partners, SAWA Association is one of the most efficient and remarkable, with its twenty years of activities supporting women and children with counseling and psico-social support in Palestine and in the arab countries. Thanks to AICS support, SAWA can train technical and volunteer personnel working at the call center, guaranteeing Helpline 121 service until the end of 2020, even during nighttime. An average of 330 women call monthly the helpline and they are assisted by 10 operators working on 5 hours shifts, providing helpful information with special attention to privacy and management of the call, the persons and their needs. Through an information campaign via Facebook and radio, SAWA could better disseminate their services among Palestinian women, in particular about the legal support, supplied thank to the Italian project, and the referral and protection system in use.