Gender Based Violence (GBV) is widely recognized as a violation of human rights and threats the rights, status, and well-being of women and girls. Juzoor for Health and Social Development is a leading Palestinian organization in the fight against GBV and together with partners from civil society and public sectors, has successfully initiated a national referral system that has been endorsed by the Council of Ministers. through this 12-month project funded by the ‘Fund for Local Cooperation’ (FLC) of the Representative Office of Finland to the Palestinian Territory, and the project titled is “Promoting integrated and multi-sectoral approach to provide services to women and girls victims of Gender Based Violence” and the impact of the project is to contribute to better protecting and promoting the status and rights of women in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). To contribute to FLC objective for 2016-2018, the proposed project will work with both rights-holders and duty-bearers in the fight against GBV and its adverse impact on the advancement of women’s rights and status.
As well to activate the national referral system in two West Bank districts (Jenin, and Tubas). It will do so through strengthening the institutional capacity of service providers, developing district-level referral networks, raising community awareness and knowledge on GBV, including on the availability of existing services. While the focus of this project is to improve district-level GBV prevention, protection, and response, the project will also work towards strengthening the referral system at the national level. The project had shared its experience through documenting and sharing lessons learnt in the piloting of district-level referral networks with national stakeholders involved in the national referral system, mainly the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Ministry of Social Development, Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC) community-based organizations in the target districts, and other civil society organizations.
Juzoor, had implemented the project with full coordination and participation with the main stakeholders on the formal level through close cooperation with the formal sectors as well with the local CBOs in order to improve women status and public awareness on GBV and the national referral system in the targeted locations.
The project had been guided by the 2030 Agenda for sustainable Development and in particular sustainable development goal 5 on gender equality and empowerment and it is corresponding to the Finland’s priorities on women and girls’ rights. the successful implementation of the project had contributed to enhancing the status of rights of women in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) through the enhancing the implementation of the referral protocols and building the capacity of the services provider to be more responsive to victims of GBV needs and referral. As well to build the capacity of the community through the empowering local CBOs to deliver effective GBV prevention and referral services to women and girls who are victims or at risk of GBV. And to activate the national referral networks at the district level and to share the lessons learned to enhance the performance of the national referral protocols. As a result of the project activities; the following had been achieved and contributed to the women rights and status in Palestinian communities were:
- 25 organizations from the governmental and non-governmental sectors are implementing the referral protocols working in the two targeted districts of Toubas and Jenin.
- 55 Services providers were trained and they are more capable on the GBV prevention, protection and response in the two targeted districts and improve services to women and girls victims of GBV in which it had added to the project outcome as well the FLC.
- Brochure of the organizations providing services to women and girls victioms of violence produced and distributed to the local communities.
- 4 District level stakeholder meetings in the two districts were held and it aimed to enhance cooperation and integrated among governmental and non- governmental organizations.
- Build the capacity of 6 local CBOs in the two districts on GBV prevention and response, community mobilization for the local communities.
- 6 communities’ initiatives had carried out by the CBOs with local population ( targeting women, girls, boys and men) to increase their awareness and help women who are victims or at risk of GBV to access quality care and to involve boys and men in community-level GBV prevention efforts reaching 4915 direct beneficiaries.
- Sharing the lessons learned with the national stakeholder in order to improve the GBV quality services and response to cases of GBV.
Impact of the awareness activities had been documented through the feedback and success stories from the women themselves as one lady stated “a story of my grandson who is 16 years old, who used to steal money from his parents for unknown reason. his mother ad I had directed more violence acts toward that teenager, we had the feeling of killing him for the actions he was doing. After the training done in November, I had realized that there is another aspect for the story, and i had approached my grandson in different way till i realized that the child had been blackmailed by another young man, with a picture of the teenagers. And the I had used the organizational guide to call the family protection units at the police and the MoSD directorate in which the teenager had went into the vocational education and counseling session, and the perpetrator had been in jail”.