Syria: Palestinian Refugee Women Under Humanitarian International Law

12 March 2009

As part of Syria’s celebration of International Women’s Day, the Syrian Authority for Family Affairs yesterday hosted a conference at the Syrian Opera House on the subject of the status of Palestinian refugee women under international humanitarian law.

The featured speakers included legal experts, representatives from the Syrian Red Crescent Society, the head of the Palestine Women’s Federation, the representative of UNICEF in Syria, and UNRWA‘s field director in the area. The discussions were ably chaired by Ghassan Bin Jidou, journalist and head of al-Jazeera‘s Beirut bureau.

The session drew a large audience, and an enthusiastic discussion highlighted the important role played by Palestinian women in the occupied Palestinian territories over the past 60 years, as well as the importance of human rights protection and the Geneva convention. The contributors also shed light on the work of UNRWA and UNICEF work and their programmes that aim to support and protect the rights of women and children.

The session was preceded by a six-minute slide show of photographs about the life of Palestine refugee women before and after 1948, and concluded with Palestinian music and songs by an ensemble from UNRWA‘s Nimreen Children’s Music Centre.

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