8 March 2012
International Women’s Day is commemorated all over the world on 8 March. It gives us an opportunity to celebrate progress towards gender equality and to raise awareness on work still to be done on gender-based discrimination. The United Nations theme for this year’s Day is “Empower Rural Women - End Poverty and Hunger”.
Together with the Palestine refugees, UNRWA organises a multitude of activities to commemorate and acknowledge the role of Palestinian women in society and their contributions to it. These events reaffirm the Agency’s commitment to gender equality and women’s rights.
Official statement of Deputy-Commissioner General Margot Ellis
Events in Gaza
- Open day with microfinance institutions: Presentations by UNRWA‘s microfinance and micro-enterprise programme along with invited microfinance institutions, to enhance women entrepreneurs’ knowledge of financial services. Networking between participants and organisations, and open discussion will take place.
- Capacity-building for community-based organisations (CBOs) and women’s programme centres (WPCs): Promoting the development and improvement of online communications tools such as CBO/WPC websites and Facebook pages. The establishment of a joint Facebook group for all 26 CBO/WPCs will be promoted.
- Social media training: Training-of-trainers will be conducted for gender initiative IT facilitators on social media. Social media training will also take place through CBO/WPCs for participants, focusing on blogging and other online tools.
- “She Creates” competition: Competition to establish blog showcasing artistic, creative and innovative initiatives/activities. There will be four winners. The competition is for women between 18 and 30 years of age in all CBOs/WPCs.
- 8 March Ceremony: There will be performances, and the screening of short documentary success stories from the female-headed households programme. The winners of the “She Creates” competition will be announced and participant works will be showcased. There will also be an exhibition/bazaar presenting female beneficiaries’ products.
Events in Syria
- Dera’a: Workshop on women’s labour rights at work in the private sector.
- Rukn Eddin: Presentation on successful women from the local community.
- Jaramana: Drawing gallery and film screening on successful women. Women will be honoured at a ceremony.
- Sbeineh: Free English-language classes offered to women, along with a drawing workshop.
- Husseinya: Exhibition of women’s hand-made crafts.
- Yarmouk: Courses in craft skills for women to increase their income generation opportunities.
Events in the West Bank
- Three-day bazaar for women participating in the job creation programme in Nazareth.
- Film screenings on gender-based violence and income generation projects.
- Events for students: A lecture for university students at the Ramallah Women’s Training Centre on gender-based violence. Principals at UNRWA schools will deliver International Women’s Day speeches to both boys and girls.
- Sixty events in women’s programme centres: Workshops, sports activities, and film screenings.
- Open day on gender and communication skills: Women identified as “special hardship cases” will participate in Israeli-controlled Area C, Hawara, Awarta, Madama, Asira Al Qibliah, Bourin.
Events in Jordan
- Headquarters Amman: Theatre performance about women’s empowerment and how volunteering in a women’s programme centre changed one woman’s life.
- South Amman area office: UNRWA teachers and programme staff will discuss the role that women play in the development of society.
- Education programme: Skits and speeches focusing on women‘s rights, talks from celebrities on their success stories, a drawing competition for women’s rights, and a logo competition for International Women’s Day.
- Schools in Zarqa and Sukhneh: Discussions with mothers, teachers and tenth-grade students on women’s empowerment, women’s health, challenges facing youth and gender-based violence.
- Women’s programme centres: In Sukhneh, a seminar about flawed perceptions and stereotypes about women. In Zarqa, one week of celebrations: community-driven drawing projects for women’s equality and dignity; films on women’s rights; graduation ceremony for workshop participants.