Ministery of Women Affairs and Canada Government launches a new Flagship Programme to eliminate Violence against Women

The Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and the Government of Canada has launched a new flagship programme, “HAYA: Eliminating Violence Against Women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (2018 – 2022)” along with four partner UN agencies, UN Women, UNFPA, UN Habitat, and UNODC.

Key national partners include the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA), the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD), the Ministry of Local Government (MoLG), the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the Ministry of Health (MoH), and other relevant national counterparts such as municipalities, community associations, and civil society organizations actively working on eliminating violence against women and girls.

The HAYA programme is a five-year, CAD 17 million programme which focuses on changing harmful practices and attitudes that contribute to violence against women and girls within targeted households and communities. Specific target groups include women from rural communities, Area C, East Jerusalem, as well as women from low income households, while men and boys will also benefit from the programme by engaging in various outreach and awareness raising activities.

Her Excellency, Dr. Al Agha, the Minister of Women’s Affairs said, “The Palestinian women have accomplished milestone achievements over the past years of which we are very proud. The “HAYA” programme is one of these achievements that we hope to continue and strengthen for the benefit of all Palestinian women. The launch of this programme is due to the integral and tremendous efforts exerted by all partners. It is one of the achievements of the collective work of the Palestinian women’s movement which has been working on setting the strategic priorities and necessary mechanisms to eliminate violence against women.”

The programme will also help women and girl survivors of violence to have increased access to necessary services such as livelihood training, forensics services, medical and psychosocial treatments, and access to security and shelter. Furthermore, it will strengthen the PA’s institutional capacity to develop and implement legal and policy frameworks that promote and protect the rights of women and girls who are subject to violence.

Violence against women and girls is the most prevalent human rights violation globally, and is an issue of serious concern in the Palestinian society. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 30% of married women in the West Bank and 51% in Gaza have been exposed to violence, while less than 1% of them seek the support of the government or civil society organizations due to the fear of stigma, social exclusion or reprisal.

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