International Campaign: Raise the Voices of Victims and Advocate the Rights of Displaced Families

6 December, 2016 News No comments

In 2016, SVF organised 5 international advocacy meetings in cooperation with civil society organisations in Belgium, Ireland and UK to discuss the issues of displaced families in Gaza post-2014. The last meeting taken place in cooperation with CAABU at SOAS, University of London on November 30th, 2016.
The department of Law, Maynooth University also hosted a seminar to discuss the issue of displaced communities on November 24th, 2016. Nenegh Friends of Palestine also hosted a public Talk organised to discuss the displaced communities of Gaza and Challenges of Reconstruction on November 18th, 2016. In Nenegh, It was great to have TD Jackie Cahill attend the talk. Jackie said that the Irish Government should recognise the State of Palestine, as a solidarity measure, and has offered to put down a parliamentary question (PQ) in the Dail on the matter. He said that it is incredible that Israel is destroying Palestinian houses and infrastructure, often funded by the EU. Given Ireland’s historical experience of occupation and colonisation, Irish people should offer every support to the justice for people in this region.
This is part of a project implemented by Society Voice Foundation (SVF) in cooperation with Human Rights and International Human Law Secretariat which aims to raise and advocate the rights of displaced families whose homes were demolished by the Israeli military during the 2014 conflict and who have been waiting for their homes to be rebuilt ever since. SVF’s representative and founder Dr. Ibrahim Natil shared the findings of recent field study on displaced communities in the Gaza Strip implemented by Society Voice Foundation.

SVF launched Advocacy for Displaced Families and Demolished Houses in Gaza Strip Project

1 December, 2015 News No comments

On December 1, 2015, Society Voice Foundation- SVF launched this 12 months project to advocate the rights of displaced families whose homes were demolished by the Israeli war machines during the summer 2014. This project is funded by Human Rights and IHL Secretariat to raise the concerns and demands of these families who lost their houses at the national and international levels. SVF will lead campaigns to influence the decision makers from the public, international and local organizations to achieve the demands of these vulnerable families including children, women and elderly people. SVF will raise the demands of these people of rebuilding their homes and integrating them in their locations once again. To do so, SVF will organize a national network of at least 50 key civil society activists and organizations from all social and political spectrums to support the campaign. The activities of the national network led by SVF will engage the national and international media to raise the concerns of displaced people to various decision makers and relevant organizations. Campaign also involves conducting public debate activities including hall town meetings, focus groups, local and regional conferences and high level meetings in all areas of the Gaza Strip.

 

There have been thousands of Palestinian families in the Gaza Strip affected by the last Israeli military operation summer 2014. This operation has already created a new environment of destruction, family displacement overloaded with devastating psychological problems. It has left 100,000 Gazans homeless and over 2,100 dead, the majority of them Palestinian civilians, compared with 76 Israeli fatalities, all soldiers. These displaced people have lost their homes and dignity when they found themselves without any shelter. All mechanisms of rebuilding their houses have already failed to do so due to a number of restrictions and de factor situations in the Gaza Strip. This complicated and hostile environment imposes huge challenges on PA. It has already increased pressures and demands on work of local and international organizations including UNRWA to achieve their agenda of peace and development. This has created massive new challenges for PA, Hamas, International organizations and Gaza NGOs as they struggle to meet citizens’ needs and demands transparently and efficiently, not least because resources are sorely lacking after 10 years of blockades. The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. Nickolay Mladenov, following his first visit to Gaza, on 29 April, 2015 said “No human being who visits can remain untouched by the terrible devastation that one sees here in Gaza and as shocking as the devastation of the buildings might be the devastation of peoples’ livelihoods is 10 times more shocking”.

 

Thus, peace, relief and development process face a various ranges of serious challenges due to high level of hostile political environment and absence of human security at all levels. The Gaza Strip has been living in very inhuman and risky circumstances since 2006. The Gaza Strip is isolated from the entire world by complicated closure and restrictions on the movement of people and goods. The society also faces very high level of unemployment, youth addictions on drugs, lack of jobs and resources. The coastal Strip will face a very serious problem as Gazans may effectively unable to access usable water in 2020. The entire populations including are dependent on the international assistance. They also suffer from high level of psychological problems because the coastal strip faced three different large scales of Israeli military offensives that caused major loses of lives among youth, women and children and destruction of already impoverished infrastructure.

However, the United Nations mechanism to reconstruct the Gaza Strip after the last war in summer 2014 has a limited progress. “Gaza reconstruction will take a century to complete due the Israeli blockade” (Oxfam, 2015). The slow mechanism of recovery is another serious challenge on Hamas transformation to play a real role in peace building in Gaza Strip. The security environment in Gaza Strip is very fragile as the entire population has been suffering from the impact of the latest war, closure, slow process of reconstruction and the failure of internal Palestinian reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah in addition to the peace process between PLO and Israel.

Empowerment Women Civic Engagement and Public Freedoms

2 September, 2015 News No comments

SVF is currently implementing a program “Empowerment Women Civic Engagement and Public Freedoms” in cooperation with WWDP. SVF aims at empowering women civic participation in public policies and freedoms. It also aims at promoting women free of expression and rights by activating a grassroots network and implementing a number of capacity building, awareness, social audit, monitoring, advocacy and media activities. To doing so, SVF will empower women leaders from different areas of social and political sciences, development, journalism, public relations, media aged 18-24 years old. SVF will empower them on principles and techniques of civic participation, monitoring, advocacy, information technology, transparency, accountability and legislation. Technically, SVF will coordinate with five women CBOs from different areas to empower the target groups practice their newly acquired skills by forming women grassroots forums. The forums will lead participant women to conduct public advocacy campaigns to improve their civic engagement in public policies at all levels.
SVF would like to see the power of women leaders’ contribution to improving the situations of their targeted groups on the concept and practices of free of expression and public freedoms. Women would contribute actively to promote society’s values and practices of respecting empowering women’s equal social and political participation at all levels. Women would put into practice their new skills and knowledge of empowerment women social and political participation. Women would elect their representatives in different positions in social and political life. They would contribute to improve the social delivery of local organisations from gender and social accountability perspectives. Young women leaders would have a worthwhile opportunity to empower their political practices through community work and participating in social accountability campaigns.
These activities will provide a real indication of changes happened on the lives of group young women leaders who empowered in techniques of leadership capacities with emphasis on free of expression, community voluntary work and elimination all forms of discrimination against women. The Palestinian society in Gaza Strip and the West Bank has been living in very serve circumstances and lack of human security at all levels due to the absence of peace process, economic development and the Palestinian division. Therefore, Palestinian women have witnessed these days unprecedented state of poor public freedoms, socio-political deadlock at all levels due to the paralyzed political system, social and geographic division and hardship economic life. The whelming majority of women aged 18-24 years old in Gaza Strip and the West Bank including Jerusalem and area C is jobless and suffering from high level of poverty, and lack of opportunities. Women also suffer from ineffective, inefficient and insufficient policies in the public life, which have already made their lives in a worse situation. Women have been practically misused by the politicians to achieve very narrow political interests regardless good governance practices, active grassroots engagement and community participation. Women have no real influences over the public policies and record a very low of civic participation. Women who call for change, improving human rights, democracy and peace building would face a number of social and political threats. They are banned from freedom of expression, freedom of media, the right of associations, and the right to organize peaceful actions and marches.

Women Community Empowerment Forums

20 May, 2014 News No comments

From January 2014 to March 2014, SVA organized 23 forums meetings throughout the Gaza Strip. Through the meetings, SVF has assisted the trainees to put their newly acquired skills on practices by organizing community initiatives and activities. Young women leaders have had the opportunity to plan a community advocacy campaigns with the objective of building a future democratic leadership. Women’s leadership skills gained are effectively utilized through community forums. They prepared to finalize a new code of conduct to be signed by women/youth to renounce the violence against women, inheritance deprivation, discrimination and unemployment. They signed a petition to reject violence and supporting women peaceful actions. They ran a lot of social media to promote the culture of the women community work and non-violence. They proposed a number of peaceful and women empowerment initiatives. During the reporting period, the young women leaders conducted many meetings as follows:

 

  1. The forum meeting taken place at the Alsahel Charitable Society in Rafah city on January 14, 2014. The participants also discussed how to activate the role of society organizations in reinforcing women community participation.
  2. The forum meeting taken place at the Thaleth Alharamayn Alshareefayn Society in Rafah on January 16, 2014. The members also discussed the technology development and its impact on the community culture.
  3. The forum meeting taken place at Women Activity center – Deir Elbalah on January  22, 2014. The participants discussed  the impact of faith on women community participation.
  4. The forum meeting taken place at  Nusirate Women Empowerment Center on Jan ary26, 2014. The members also discussed  a number of issues relevant to reinforcement women’s social role.
  5. The forum meeting taken place at the technical center for training in Gaza city, on January 27, 2014. The members discussed the Palestinian community’s outlook to women.
  6. The forum meeting taken place at the cultural forum center in Deir Elbalah, on January 27, 2014. They also discussed the impact of violence on women socially and economically.
  7. The forum meeting taken place at the hope and love seeds society of Maghazi on January 27, 2014.  The members also discussed  the women’s social role in the workplaces.
  8. The forum meeting taken place at the Women Activity center of Khan Younis, on January 30, 2014. The members also discussed the role of municipal on women empowerment.
  9. The forum meeting taken place at the working women society in Gaza city, on February 2, 2014. The members also discussed the Role of civil society in promoting women role.
  10. The forum meeting taken place at the Society of rural women development in Zawayda village, on February 4, 2014. The members also discussed Society’s outlook to working women.
  11. The forum meeting taken place at Wesal Association for Development in Khanounis on February 5, 2014. They discussed the impact of voluntary work and its significance on women social participation.
  12. The forum meeting taken place at the Shabbab Baladna center in Al Buraij RC, on February 8, 2014. The members also discussed the impact of violence on women at all levels and finding mechanism to eliminate it.
  13. The forum meeting taken at the loan and saving society in the Zawayda village, on February 10, 2014. The forum’s members also discussed the psychological impact of divorce on women.
  14. The forum meeting taken at the cultural and social forum of Deire Albalah, on February 17, 2014. The forum’s member discussed the mechanism of combating  violence against women.
  15. The forum meeting taken at the Maghazi cultural center, on February 17, 2014. The forum’s members also discussed the violence against women and mechanism to reduce it.
  16. The forum meeting taken at the Farmers Association of Nuseirat, on February 18, 2014. The members also discussed the impact of unemployment on Palestinian women.
  17. The forum meeting taken at the Aafaq Society for Development in Al Nuseirat RC, on February 19, 2014. The forum’s members also discussed the Role of women in social life.
  18. The forum meeting taken at the Women Empowerment Center in the Nuseirat area, on February 20, 2014. The members also discussed the mechanism to combat the domestic violence.
  19. The forum meeting taken at the Sehoul Alkhadraa society in Gaza city, on March 4, 2014. The members also discussed the cultural heritage and its impact on women.
  20. The forum meeting taken at the Maghazi Cultural center, on March 16, 2014. They discussed Violence against women.
  21. The forum meeting taken at the Maghazi Cultural center, on March 17, 2014. They discussed Violence against women.
  22. The forum meeting taken at the Thaleth Alharamayn Alshareefayn, on March 20, 2014. The members discussed the impact of Violence on women’s social empowerment.
  23. The forum meeting taken at Al Burj Cultural Centre on March 23, 2014. The members also discussed the impact of the social structure on women.

The members of women community forums also contributed to implementation of public awareness sessions. They also helped in coordination and inviting the participants to the sessions.

Public Awareness Sessions on Women Empowerment

20 May, 2014 News No comments

From January 2014 to March 2014, SVF organized 13 public awareness sessions to educate women on different civic issues to improve their leadership orientation,  social participation and contribution at all levels. SVF invited a number of civil society specialists and speakers to have a dialogue with the participants as follows:

 

  1. SVF organised a public awareness session to discuss the role of Palestinian women in local community organizations at Maghazi Women Activities Program on January 5, 2014.
  2. SVF organised a public awareness session to discuss the role of social workers in resolving family problems in cooperation with AlburaijWomen Activities Center on January 6, 2014.
  3. SVF organised a public awareness session to discuss the role of women organizations in resolving women issues in cooperation with Alsehoul Alkhadraa Society in Gaza city on Jan 22, 2014.
  4. SVF organised a public awareness sessions to discuss the role of women participation in local municipal councils in Beit Lahia on Jan 28, 2014.
  5. SVF organised a public awareness sessions in cooperation with Jablia Women Empowerment Center to discuss the role of local community organizations in preventing violence against women on Jan 28, 2014.
  6. SVF organised a public awareness sessions to discuss the significance of rehabilitation and training programs in raising women awareness in cooperation with Outreach Forum Society of Nuseirat on February 4, 2014.
  7. SVF organised a public awareness sessions to discuss main challenges facing women at present in cooperation with women Activity Center of Deir Elbalah on February 5,2014.
  8. SVF organised a public awareness sessions to discuss women social participation in cooperation with Maghazi women activity center on February 12, 2014.
  9. SVF organised a public awareness sessions to discuss with the causes of violence against women in cooperation with Women activity center of Alburaij on February13, 2014.
  10. SVF organised a public awareness sessions to discuss women problems by means of institutions in cooperation with Aafaq Society for Development in Gaza City on Feb 20, 2014.
  11. SVF organised a public awareness sessions to discuss women political and social rights in cooperation with Women Activity center of Aldaraj neighborhood in Gaza city on March 2,2014.
  12. SVF organised a public awareness sessions to discuss impact of violence on women in cooperation with Future and Family Development Society of Gaza City, in March11, 2014.

 

Survey on challenges facing women: Violence, inheritance deprivation, and unemployment

19 May, 2014 News No comments

SVF conducted a field survey on violence against women, inheritance deprivation, and unemployment. SV designed a special questionnaire to collect data from women about violence, inheritance deprivation, and unemployment. 323 Palestinian girls from Gaza, responded. %18.9 of them were under the age of 20, 71.2 between 21 and 30, 7.7 between 31 and 40, 2.2 between 41 -50.

  • %74.7 of those responded  said  that women are not considered inferior to men.
  • 67.5 percent believed that violence against women is a phenomenon.
  • 64.4 percent asserted that men are not preferred to men inside the households.
  • 68.1 percent support the notion that women are still being neglected.
  • 76.5 percent  believe that women are somehow aware of all their rights.
  • 44.5 percent assert that social traditions and violence are related.
  • 57.3 assert that violence against women is merely attributed to the society’s outlook to women as being inferior to men
  • 78.6 percent believe that violence against women reduce women participation in the community
  • 56.3 of the polled see that the most severe form of violence is the beating
  • 91.6 believe that women exposed to violence should speak out
  • According to the survey, reasons for women silence and fear are potential divorce and family degeneration.
  • Respondents believe that raising awareness of women and men would reduce violence
  • 96 percent believe that some special awareness sessions should be held for young couples
  • 67.5  percent agree that civil society organizations assume their roles regarding violence against women.
  • 43 percent support the idea that workshops have helped raise awareness of women
  • 62.5 percent assert that absence of law has led to more violence against women
  • 63.8 assert that depriving women of their right to heritage constitutes a serious problem
  • 32.5 percent of the respondents assert that women resort to relatives in case they are deprived of their heritage.
  • 60.4 percent  believe that taking over women heritage is considered an economic violence.
  • 47.7 percent of the respondents disagree that women attain equal opportunities to men.
  • 94.4 percent of respondents assert that women labor reinforces women self-confidence.
  • 56.3 percent agree that the higher living costs are, the more women labor increases.
  • 72.4 percent of respondents believe that there can’t be real development without women.
  • 54.8 percent assert that women social participation  has helped women take leading and administrative positions.
  • 51.7 percent believe that women participation in municipal councils is such in-genuine one.
  • 49.8 percent believe that women in municipal councils contribute to policy outlining.
  • 57.9 percent agree that existence of women within municipal councils help women network with the municipalities.

 

According to those polled, poverty and unemployment are the main causes of violence against women.

Radio Programs on Women Social Empowerment

19 May, 2014 News No comments

 

From January 2014 to March 2014, SVF produced and broadcasted 9 Radio programs to educate women on different civic issues to improve their leadership orientation, social participation and contribution at all levels. SVF invited a number of civil society specialists and speakers to educate the listeners as follows:

 

  1. SVF produced and broadcasted a Radio program to discuss “women social rights” on January 5, 2014. SVF invited Lawyers Islah Hassaniya from Bar Association and Samir Maqadma from the Palestinian Centre for Conflict Resolution to talk in the program.
  2. SVF produced and broadcasted a Radio program to discuss women’s inheritance rights on Jan 15, 2014. SVF invited lawyers Ahmad Hassouna and Baker Turkmany from the Amaan Coalition to talk in the program.
  3. SVF produced and broadcasted a Radio program to discuss women social ambition on January 22, 2014. SVF invited Social activist Yusr Alatrash and mayor of Maghazi, Mohammad Alnajjar to talk in the program.
  4. SVF produced and broadcasted a Radio program to discuss the Role of media in advocating women issues on January 29, 2014. SVF invited Media practitioner, Mona Khadr and women rights activist, Islam Burbar to talk in the program.
  5. SVF produced and broadcasted a Radio program to discuss Violence against women and its impact on the community on February 5, 2014. SVF invited Randa Barraka of the Palestinian center for conflict resolution, Mona Alshawa , chief of women unit with the Palestinian center for human rights and Walaa Alhendi, from the project skills reinforcement.
  6. SVF produced and broadcasted a Radio program to discuss Women inheritance right in the tradition law on Feb 12, 2014. SVF invited. Lawyer Halla Alsharif of the lawyers syndicate and Said Abdallah, coordinator of heritage program within the Zakher Society for development to talk in the program.
  7. SVF produced and broadcasted a Radio program to discuss the role of municipal councils in promoting women leadership on February 19, 2014. SVF invited Hannan Abu Mashayekh and trainee, Abeer Mansour to talk in the program.
  8. SVF produced and broadcasted a Radio program to discuss women international day  an outcry against violence and negligence on March 5, 2014. SVF invited Wesam Jouda of the Palestinian women affairs center and social worker , Huda Jouda of the Palestinian working women society for development to talk in the program.
  9. SVF produced and broadcasted a Radio program to discuss the role of civil society in reinforcing women rights on March 19, 2014. SVF invited Media practitioner, Majeda Albelbaisy, social worker, Hannan Abu Daher and lawyer, Marcil Almasry, to talk in the program.

The Role of Civil Society Organisations in Promotion of Community Participation

17 March, 2014 News No comments

Society Voice Foundation – SVF organised a public meeting to discuss the role of civil society organisations in promotion of women community participation in cooperation with the Al Sahl Association in Rafah city. SVF invited the civil society activist Mr. Jehad Ahmed to have  a dialogue with citizens from the city.

Mr. Ahmed spoke about the contribution of women to the community development process of the society at all levels. However, women’s engagement in the decision making process and leadership positions are very limited despite the fact of their good qualification and contribution to the society.

He also discussed and shared with the participants the significant role, programs, actions and activities of civil society organisations to strengthen community participation of the various groups at the social, political and economic levels. More importantly, he mentioned that those organisations also play a very significant contribution in promotion of  women community participation and empowerment leadership role in delivering services and society development as well.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the participants demanded to increase efforts and continue works to improve the role of women and enable them to exercise their rights in the nomination and election, and the active participation and access to decision-making centers. They also stressed the importance of effectively targeted community awareness of the need to involve women in all fields, and activate their role in society especially in the area of political and social participation and contribution.

SVF Broadcasted 13 Radio Program on Women Empowerment

12 March, 2014 News No comments

From September 2013 to December 2013, SVF produced and broadcasted 13 Radio programs to educate women on different civic issues to improve their leadership orientation, social participation and contribution at all levels. SVF invited a number of civil society specialists and speakers to educate the listeners as follows:

 1- Role of Law in Promotion of the Marginalized and Vulnerable Women.

 SVF produced and broadcasted a radio program to discuss role of law in promotion of the marginalized and vulnerable women on September 3, 2013. SVF invited the lawyer Mrs. Islh Hassania from Bar Association and Mohammed Abu Hashm, human rights activist on September 3, 2013.

 2.  Women in the Labor Market

 SVF produced and broadcasted a radio program to discuss to reality of the Palestinian women in the labor market on September 11, 2013. SVF invited Mr. Nedal Ghaben , civil society activist and Ms. Wejdan Albayoumy, civil society activist to have a live dialogue in this regard.

 3. Violence Against Women

  SVF produced and broadcasted a radio program to discuss Violence against women on September 18, 2013. SVF invited Mrs. Zeinab Alghonaimy, civil society expert and Ms. Fatma Ashour, civil society expert.

4. Women’s Right of Inheritance

 SVF produced and broadcasted a radio program to discuss women’s right of inheritance on October 1, 2013. SVF invited the lawyer Samir Hassaniyeh who spoke about the importance of giving women the right to inheritance.

 5. Palestinian Women Workforce and Labour Market Challenges

 SVF produced and broadcasted a radio program to discuss the challenges facing Palestinian women workforce and labour market on October 9, 2013. SVF invited the civil society activist, Nidal Gaban and Ms. Magda Albalbisi, civil society activist to have a dialogue in this regard.

 6. Empowerment Women Community Participation

 SVF produced and broadcasted a radio program to discuss empowerment women community participation on October 23, 2013. SVF invited Sammer Hamad, civil society specialist and Marim Mslh, civil society specialist to have a dialogue in this regard.

 

 7. Inheritance and Social Culture Against Women

 SVF produced and broadcasted a radio program to discuss inheritance and social culture against women on October 29, 2013. SVF invited the lawyer Younis Al Tahrawi, legal adviser to have a dialogue in this regard.

 8. The Media’s Role in Promotion Women’s Issues

 SVF produced and broadcasted a radio program to discuss the media’s role in promotion  women’s issues on November 6, 2013. SVF invited the writer Hassan Jaber and the blogger Ms. Samia Zwydy to have a dialogue in this context.

 9. Women’s Rights in Domestic Law and International Conventions

 SVF produced and broadcasted a Radio program to discuss women’s rights in domestic law and international conventions on November 12, 2013. SVF invited the lecturer Mohammed Abu Hashm to have a dialogue in this regard. He talked about the reality of women in the laws and regulations of in Palestine and the importance of protection women by elimination of violence and discrimination against them.

10. Women’s Social and Economic Empowerment

 SVF produced and broadcasted a Radio program to discuss women’s socio-economic empowerment on November 20, 2013. SVF invited Dr. Alaa Abu Taha, a lecturer and Ms. Hanan Syam,  community activist to have a dialogue in this context.

 11. The Role of Civil Society Organizations in the Protection of Women From Violence

 SVF produced and broadcasted a Radio program to discuss the role of civil society organizations in the protection of women from violence on November 25, 2013. SVF invited the civil society activist, Dr. Mariam Abu Dakka to have a dialogue in this regard. She spoke about the reality of Palestinian women in the light of what they are suffering from violence and marginalization in social life as a result of political and social conditions of the current situation of the Arab societies. She said women represent half of the community energies  and should live without violence and to ensure full community rights and equality with men .

 12. Palestinian Women and lack of Jobs

 SVF produced and broadcasted a Radio program to discuss the difficulties facing women due to the lack of jobs on December 30, 2013. SVF invited the Lawyer, Fatma Ashour and Nidle Gaban, civil society activist to have a dialogue in this regard.

 13. Women and Civil Society Organizations

SVF produced and broadcasted a Radio program to discuss the women and civil society institutions on December 31, 2013. SVF invited the lecturer in the field of human rights, Mohammed Abu Hashim and the writer and researcher in political affairs Imad Mohsen.