Workshop: “Impact of Political Division on the reality of Women in Gaza strip”

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On Monday 17 August 2017 the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), in cooperation with its partner Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO), organized a workshop on the “Impact of Political Division on the Reality of Women in Gaza strip”. The workshop took place at the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children in Gaza.

At the workshop, Ms. Zainab Al-Ghunaimi, Director of the Center for Research and Legal Counseling, and Ms. Mona Al-Shawwa, Director of the Women’s Unit of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza, spoke about the difficult conditions of women’s situation in the Gaza Strip. The speakers emphasized the negative impacts of the political split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on the social and developmental role of women. New social problems within the families resulted from the political decision of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah to keep Gazan PA-employees at home and not to go to work. Among other things, this increased disputes between married couples, which resulted in an excessively high percentage of divorces. Furthermore, the classical unity of the women’s associations was fragmented due to the political loyalty to different political factions after the split. It also led to a significant weakening of women’s voices among the society. The recent political decision to refer a large number of Gazan PA employees to early retirement will have a significant impact on the percentage of employed women. The decision targeted mainly the employees in the health and education sector, where the majority of working women are employed.

Speakers, guests from civil society organizations, representative of women associations and journalists engaged in a deep and lively discussion. Key points of the discussion were the improvement of the role of women and their role at ending the political split.