Gaza - Addressing violence against women in workplaces, an interactive dialogue-session was held on Monday by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor and the Association of Female University Graduates in Gaza (AFUG-G).
The session was part of the 16-day “Orange The World” campaign by the Women’s Leadership Incubator (WLI) project on violence against women at work. AFUG is one of WLI’s participating institutions.
The discussion aimed to raise female graduates’ awareness of the Palestinian labor law and of the protections enjoyed by women against discrimination or persecution at work, said Nada Nabil, WLI’s media coordinator.
The meeting also aimed to cast a light on the violence women face at work and the legal means women can use to address this problem, added Nabil.
Widad Sourani, Director of AFUG-G, expressed her enthusiasm for taking part in such activities, stressing the importance of raising awareness of women's rights in the community.
“Female graduates desperately need to learn about labor law and how to address all forms of violence against women,” Sourani explained.
“Such discussions raise awareness among female graduates, who, in effect, finish their studies without learning about their rights under the Palestinian law as workers. This is one of the topics the curriculum does not bring to study tables,” Sourani added.
“Violence against women at work spreads in light of the absence of an actual application of the labor law, and is a result of the lack of awareness among female workers, said Salama Abu Z’aiter, a community researcher.
“Raising women's awareness of their rights is the first step to attaining these rights. What is better than being able to stand up for your own rights?” added Abu Z’aiter.
Participants in the session expressed the need for more sessions to raise awareness among marginalized women of work violations, including discrimination in wages and denial of maternity leaves.
In January 2017, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor launched the second round of the Women's Leadership Incubator project to help empower Palestinian women in the Gaza Strip, promote gender equality, and encourage the integration of women into the community leadership structures by training local and NGO staff. This was done by including women as team leaders working to improve their living and work conditions in local institutions and communities.