Palestine refugee women and students send messages calling for an end to violence against women

15 December 2016
© 2016 UNRWA Photo by Riham Jafari

As part of the international 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, which ran from 25 November to 10 December, the UNRWA Child and Family Protection programme and the Community Mental Health Programme, in cooperation with the Agency’s health, education, and relief and social services programmes, organized an event in Fawwar camp where participants released balloons with messages promoting the call to support women’s education and end violence against women and girls. Participants included Palestine refugee women, UNRWA students, and community members benefiting from UNRWA psychosocial interventions and counseling services.

This initiative was developed in cooperation with women’s working groups formed by the Child and Family Protection programme and the Community Mental Health Programme. "The  activities of  the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign run by the UNRWA Child and Family  Protection programme and the Community Mental Health Programme, as well as today's activity of releasing balloons, gave us space to express ourselves, and we learned a lot of techniques that we could use in dealing with our children and family members,”  said 46-year-old Ni’mah Ziad Rasras, a resident of Fawwar camp who participated in the activity.

The activities of this campaign we participated in are very useful for us, as they strengthen our character and will. They offered us the opportunity to work and implement activities within our community,” said 50-year-old Suhair A’athmaneh, who also participated in the event.

The 2016 theme for the 16 Days campaign, ‘From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World, Make Education Safe for All’, is reflected in the work of UNRWA in combating gender-based violence (GBV) in the West Bank, including through awareness-raising activities on protection issues, domestic violence, family relationships, GBV and women’s human rights conducted by community development social workers from the Agency’s Departments of Relief and Social Services and Education, as well as the Child and Family Protection programme and the Community Mental Health Programme. These activities were held in coordination with local organizations and women’s programme centres (WPCs) and targeted Palestine refugees, including students attending UNRWA preparatory schools across the West Bank.

Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: 
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: 
+972 (0)258 90724
Two UNRWA students from Gaza enjoy recess in their first day of school. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al-Saraj
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