On 01 December 2016, the Women’s Rights Unit in the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) organized a workshop titled: “Divorce before Consummation and Seclusion: Its Reasons and Effects” as part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-violence Campaign in PCHR’s branch office in Jabalia.
Hanan Mater, Director of Women’s Rights Unit, welcomed the attendees and then talked about the work of the Women’s Unit and its programs in the framework of providing services to women and PCHR’s ongoing attempts to do justice to them. She also reviewed PCHR’s experience in documenting violations of women’s rights in general.
Majeda Shehadah, a researcher at the Unit, said that this workshop, which is one of many activities, was organized to coincide with the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Violence Campaign. The Campaign starts from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, the Human Rights Day.
Dr. Sa’id Abu al-Jebein, Member of the Palestinian Sharia High Court, addressed divorce, its types and cases where women have the right to request separation before the Sharia courts. He then talked about divorce before consummation and seclusion. He also mentioned the reasons behind divorce, shedding light on the difficult economic and social conditions which Palestinian young men in the Gaza Strip suffer from as they are not able to provide a Sharia-law-compliant home. He added that different lifestyles and ethics between spouses; lack of understanding between them; the political spilt and closure are also the main reasons behind the spread of divorce before consummation.
At the end of the workshop, the attendees concluded to the following recommendations:
- The importance of having equivalence between spouses;
- Reducing the phenomenon of early marriage;
- The need to raise young men and women awareness about their rights before getting married and
- The society’s need for more workshops which tackle the key issues in their life.