On Tuesday, March 28, 2022, the Community Media Center (CMC) held a hearing on “the efforts of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Ministry of Social Development along with other relevant ministries to support the adoption of the draft law on family protection from violence.” The session took place in the CMC hall, in the center of Gaza City, with the participation of representatives of the two ministries from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank through the Zoom platform, and a group of lawyers, media professionals, activists, an youth interested in the field of women’s rights. Additionally, the session was broadcasted live on Facebook and Instagram.
Kholoud Al-Sawalmeh, Project Manager at CMC, explained that the session comes within the activities of the project “Mobilizing Society and Media to Promote Women’s Access to Justice and Security in the Gaza Strip” within the framework of the second phase of the Sawasiya project, the joint program between the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and UN Women UN-WOMAN and UNICEF to promote the rule of law in the State of Palestine. She added, "The project aims to improve women’s access to justice and enhance their rights through advocacy and awareness efforts and to raise awareness of concepts of gender justice, human rights and women’s rights in international conventions and to combar gender-based violence, as well as raising societal awareness of the importance of preventing cybercrime, in addition to promoting civic education for children and youth.
In a welcoming speech, Andaleeb Adwan, Director of the Community Media Center, said, “This session comes as a continuation of a series of activities that CMC has begun to implement since the beginning of this March, in commemoration of the eighth of March, International Women’s Day. In fact, on March 8, an entertainment day was held entitled "Academies with equal rights and opportunities",saw the participation of more than 80 female academics and activists, and the "Massanuna" mobile application was recently launched with the aim of facilitating the access of women and girls victims and survivors of violence to multi-sectoral services in the Gaza Strip."
Adwan Mubeenah continued the ongoing efforts of the Community Media Center to enhance community awareness about the draft law on family protection from violence in all possible ways since the draft law was introduced, as it carried out a series of activities and events that varied between awareness workshops, hearing sessions for the responsible authorities, and trainings for lawyers and media professionals.
The human rights researcher Muhammad Sorour, explained the importance of the hearings as it represents a space for discussion between the public and the responsible authorities, and he noted that the hearings are a fruitful tool to engage all members of society, specifically lawyers, media professionals and youth activists in political life. He also talked about the status of women’s rights in Palestinian laws, and the stages of the draft law to protect the family from violence, referring to the phenomenon of domestic violence in Palestinian society.
Moreover, the official of the General Department of Influence, Information and Communication at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Ilham Sami, spoke through the Zoom platform about the role of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs in supporting the draft law on family protection from violence through its various stages, and the obstacles that prevent the law’s passage, and noted that the Family Protection Law is primarily a protective and preventive law, and not a punitive law, stressing the role of the ministry in stimulating cooperation between civil and international institutions, and stressing the need to integrate roles regarding the adoption of the draft law.
In the same context, the Director-General of the Office of the Minister of Social Development and the Commissioner-General of the Ministry in Gaza, Louay Al-Madhoun, stressed that the laws regulating Palestine and the Palestinian division contribute to exacerbating the problem of domestic violence against women and all members of Palestinian society.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.