Preventive Actions to Tackle COVID-19 Project

In partnership with Care International in Palestine, Juzoor implemented the Preventive Actions to Tackle COVID-19 Project to address two main problems that occurred as a result of the pandemic: Social Stigma and Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

In Palestine certain populations have been exposed to stigmatization such as Palestinian labor workers in the occupied Palestinian Territories (oPt), medical service providers who are working in hospitals and are treating COVID-19 patients and people residing in areas with a higher number of cases.

The negative impacts of social stigma could have severe ramifications as those stigmatized may avoid seeking help if they get sick, making it much harder for the Palestinian Ministry of Health to control the spread of the virus. Additionally, for the healthcare workers, stigmatization could lead to fear where some may avoid going to work, could affect their performance, and could cause them to suffer from higher rates of stress and burnout. 

Therefore, Juzoor, and in partnership with Care International, came up with a plan to minimize stigmatization and address it by conducting activities to raise awareness. The key messages behind the activities included, but not limited to:

  • Don’t refer to the virus as belonging to someone or a group of people.
  • Don’t spread misinformation or rumors.
  • Thank the healthcare workers and responders. These people are providing a valuable service to everyone by helping make sure this disease does not spread further.
  • Be cautious about what you share on social media. Make sure it does not reinforce stereotypes.
  • Share accurate information about the virus and how it spreads.
  • Speak out against discriminatory behaviors.

Additionally, due to the lockdown, quarantine and physical distancing measures taken, it put many at risk of the negative consequences of loneliness, isolation, or domestic violence and the risk of GBV and the threat of violence and other harmful practices have been on the rise at both the regional and national level. We witnessed a significant rise in family violence (i.e. domestic violence and child abuse) as people are trapped in the home with a violent perpetrator during a time of severely limited contact with the outside world. Violence against women and children (VAW/C) can have severe adverse psychological, economic, and physical effects for women and children throughout their lifetimes.

With that said, Juzoor deemed it necessary for there to be an increase in mobilization and advocacy through public campaigns against GBV to change policy and practice at the local, national, and regional levels. Juzoor utilized media outlets, TV and radio stations to prioritize the inclusion of communication/awareness materials and messaging on COVID-19 and its relation with GBV and Social Stigma.

Brochures in Arabic and English were produced and distributed in order to raise awareness about the social stigma associated with COVID-19 as well as safety preventive guidelines.
Different style name stickers were distributed to students in various schools with recommendations related to COVID-19 and the stigma associated with it
School posters with different messages were produced and distributed in order to raise awareness about social stigma associated with COVID-19 and provide safety guidelines. The posters were designed in a format suitable for children and schools.
Animation videos were produced to highlight the impact of COVID-19 and stigma, as well as the association between gender-based violence and the lockdown.
People were reached through the 3 radio spots produced as a way to raise awareness on the COVID-19 stigma, gender-based violence, and their impact on affected individuals and their families.