Today, 30 March 2011, the Palestinian
Centre for Human Rights’ (PCHR) Women’s Rights Unit held a panel discussion
titled "Challenges and Problems Facing Women’s Organizations." The
discussion was held at PCHR’s office in Khan Younis with representatives and
activists from women’s organizations in attendance.
Jaber Wishah, PCHR’s Deputy Director
for Branches Affairs, opened the discussion. He welcomed the participants and
stressed that Palestinian women play an important role. He proposed three main
points for discussion which were: diagnosing the current situation, examining
strategies to solve current problems and reviewing points of view expressed by
women leaders. He called upon the women to remember the historic responsibility
they assume so as to keep them motivated to proceed, support their causes and
achieve their rights.
The Director of PCHR’s Women’s Rights
Unit, Muna al-Shawa, talked about a number of obstacles facing women’s
organizations at present. She said she hopes that there will be an opportunity
for change and the achievement of rights this year for women, women’s
organizations and organizations active in the area of providing services to
During the discussion which was
facilitated by Majda Shehada, a researcher in PCHR’s Women’s Rights Unit,
participants reviewed a number of important issues and problems facing women in
Gaza. They all agreed that the Palestinian fragmentation has negative impacts
on all the groups in Palestinian society, including women and their
organizations. Participants reiterated that change requires serious action to
improve women’s conditions and increase their awareness about their rights and
duties. They called for forming lobbies in the different parts of the Gaza
Strip in order to achieve this goal and to ensure women’s participation in
society in accordance with Resolution no. 1325 adopted by the United Nations
concerning women’s leading role in settling conflicts.
Participants agreed that collective
actions by women’s groups are important and effective and called for the
establishment of a unified women’s organization that meets women’s needs and
employ their positive energies.
At the end of the meeting,
participants appreciated PCHR’s initiative to organize this meeting and
requested that PCHR organize similar discussions that give them the opportunity
to discuss their issues, rights, obstacles facing them and mechanisms to
address those obstacles.