News & Activites 7 September 2021
News & Activites 14 November 2018
News & Activites 14 November 2018
On the occasion of March 8, International Women's Day, the Independent Commission for Human Rights issued a fact sheet entitled "Gender-Based Discrimination and Inequality, which addressed with existing gaps and discriminatory policies in areas such as health, education, employment, political participation, and equal access to positions of decision-making. The statement also lists the obstacles that limit the opportunities for women's equality as well as Israeli violations against different aspects of women's rights.
The fact sheet reveals that the first and primary source of violations against Palestinian women is the Israeli occupation, particularly its discriminatory policies and arbitrary measures of forced displacement due to housing demolitions, arbitrary arrests, the impact of the annexation wall and settlement expansion, military checkpoints and the prolonged siege imposed on the Gaza Strip. All of these factors have exacerbated the suffering of Palestinian women and added to their social burdens, which itself constitutes a violation of human, working, health, education, housing rights, as well as their rights to a decent living and family cohesion.
Israeli authorities have escalated their targeting of Palestinian women throughout the course of the current unrest, and the number of women martyrs since October 2015 has risen to 16 out of a total of 190. The occupation authorities have arrested more than 100 women, including underage girls, and have increased their crimes and violations against them. Palestinian girls have been subject to harassment, torture, verbal abuse, and cruel and inhumane treatment during and after their arrest. They have also been place under arrest through cruel and inappropriate circumstances in various jails and detention centers such as Al-Damoun, Hasharon, and others. Currently, the occupation authorities are detaining around 55 female Palestinian prisoners, among them member of them a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Khalida Jarrar, as well as many wounded and minors, including Creman Sweidan, the youngest child prisoner at 14 years of age, and Lena Jerboni, who has been serving the longest sentence as an administrative detainee since April 2002.
At the internal level, the fact sheet reveals the existence of severe gaps against Palestinian women in the fields of health, work, and overall living conditions. There are also serious obstacles that limit women's opportunities for achieving equality, which are represented in the absence of a distinct authority responsible for taking measures to bridge the gaps between the two genders in various sectors. Measures that promote affirmative action for the benefit of women such as quotas for decision-making bodies and senior-level positions are not in place, nor are there necessary budgets to ensure the advancement of women's rights in the fields of health, labor, and education. Additionally, there is a lack of government policies to raise awareness of the prevailing culture of gender inequality that is so widespread throughout Palestinian society.
The year 2015 did not witness significant developments toward strengthening equality at the level of political and economic participation, and national indicators related to these topics indicate the women's participation in political life is at its lowest level, particularly as it concerns decision-making. The proportion of women in public institutions barely compares with that of men. According to statistics from 2014, women accounted for approximately 4 percent of Assistant Undersecretary Dep in contrast to men, who hold approximately 96 percent of these positions. The highest proportion of women are concentrated in job degree between 1 and 10, which amounts to around 31 percent in comparison to 69 percent of for men. Moreover, there are only three women that hold ministerial portfolios in the 24 current Palestinian government ministries. According to 2014 statistics, women comprise only 4.3 percent of Palestinian foreign diplomats around the world, and account for 11.3 percent of the Palestinian judiciary; 12 percent in the West Bank and 10 percent in the Gaza Strip.
Nevertheless, in relative terms, the Palestinian Judiciary has witnessed positive developments with regard to the percentage of female participation. Female judges and notaries in shariah (religious) and state courts for 2013 amount to a total of 15.6 percent; 16.9 percent in the West Bank and 8.8 percent in the Gaza Strip. The number of female judges has increased in Magistrate Courts and Courts of First Instance, and in the Supreme Court there is one female judge in the West Bank and two in the Gaza Strip.
The Independent Commission for Human Rights recommends that the state of Palestine harmonizes its legislation with international conventions and removes all forms of discrimination in line with its ascension to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Moreover, the state of Palestine should adopt affirmative action measures regarding the right to political participation and leadership at all levels. Budget allocation should also focus on reducing women's poverty and unemployment and enhancing their access to health services. The Commission also recommends the activation of tools and mechanisms to ensure the enforcement of labor laws regarding issues such as minimum wage. It is reinforces calls from the United Nation to protect women in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as well as to expose the illegal practices of the occupation authorities and it crimes against Palestinian women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.