On Thursday, 10 March 2022, Al Mezan hosted a workshop on the status of women’s rights in the Gaza Strip, in an effort to find methods of improving access to fundamental rights and freedoms. The workshop, held at Al Mezan’s office in Jabaliya refugee camp, was attended by 46 women activists and representatives of civil and women’s rights organizations.
Al Mezan laid out its background data on women’s rights in Gaza at the start of the meeting, starting with its documentation of political and social marginalization and gender-based violence and discrimination. Notably, in 2021, seven women were killed in the Gaza Strip due to various threats emanating from within Gaza and 200 more women took shelter in safe houses for domestic violence victims. As for women victims of Israeli military attacks, in the period between 8 March 2021 to 8 March 2022, 38 women and 22 girls were killed, while another 397 women and 248 girls were injured. In addition, Mr. Hussein Hammad, a researcher at Al Mezan, highlighted the impact of Gaza’s economic and social conditions from Israel’s closure and blockade, which make women more vulnerable to exploitation and gender-based violence.
Ms. Monira al-Fayomi, a lawyer from Abdel Shafi Community Health Association, addressed issues relating to gender-based discrimination and domestic violence and the protection afforded to women in domestic laws as well as loopholes. She laid out the procedures for filing complaints and accessing legal aid—touching upon relevant areas such as divorce, married women’s rights, inheritance rights, cyber and sexual harassment, and the financial independence of working women.
The participants joined in an open discussion and the workshop concluded with a set of recommendations, as follows: