After Series of Sessions Conducted by Women's Affairs Center: Women in Gaza Strip Challenge Silence and Demand for their Inheritance


Gaza-2nd April 2012/ Mrs. Nafisa A. from Al Zawaida Middle Area- Gaza strip didn’t think previously of demanding her inheritance after her father passed away. She kept looking at the land that her brothers shared and got benefit from it; she remained silent and in need without asking her right.


After attending awareness workshop about "Women's Right to Inheritance" conducted by Women's Affair Center; Mrs. Nafisa decided to break her silence and to demand for her right.


Mrs. Nafisa said "I thought demanding my inheritance is an appropriate behavior and felt ashamed to front my brothers; but inside me I felt injustice. Sometimes I wonder! Why not they give me my share by their own? saving me from being embarrassed and rescue me from my critical condition!"


She added "At the beginning my brothers refused, but keeping pressure on them and the intervention of the mediators especially my sisters claimed their rights like me, they gave me half donum. Some of my brothers promised me to discuss later about the rest of my share but my oldest brother still refusing ;and he controls all the inheritance. What I gained until now supports developing my critical economical situation a little bit".


Mrs. Nafisa attended several awareness raising sessions about "Women's Right to Inheritance" conducted by Women's Affair Center in the last couple months, within " Women's Right to Inheritance" project in coordination with Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development in West Bank, Young Men's Christian Association in Jerusalem and Danish Church Aid.


Reem Al Nairab –" Woman's Right to Inheritance" project coordinator from WAC – expressed her happiness due to the positive results achieved by the project in its first year. As 96 awareness sessions were conducted in coordination and collaboration with 40 community-based organizations across the Gaza Strip. During these sessions women were provided detailed explanations about the right to inheritance along with providing them with legal consultations.


Al Nairab added "The first year of the project witnessed the success of  more than 30 stories for women gained their inheritance right. In addition to women claimed their legal rights; and around 500 legal consultations were provided to women either during the sessions or by phone calls".


She explained that 2000 booklets about inheritance were distributed and this contributed in reaching women who didn’t participate in the sessions.


She also said "The first year of the project witnessed implementing 30 educational sessions; in addition to an open meeting titled  " Women and Inheritance… Challenges and Hopes". During this meeting 250 women who attended the sessions were given an opportunity to discuss with lawyers and activists to find ways to provide them with better services".


One of the most significant events implemented last year was the Women's Inheritance Day; WAC will work on making this day as an annual traditional day. A theater sketch was performed during this day titled "I want my right" produced by WAC in coordination with Creative Thinking Forum "Ibhar" telling the story of four women who were deprived from their inheritance right ; met in one house and after while they decided to break their silence and demand their right.


Al Nairab said "The project resulted a positive influence among the people, as they started to talk about the right of women in proprieties. We used to receive phone calls from people didn’t participate in the project but they learnt about it; I cannot forget a day when a mosque Imam in Jabalia called us to ask for booklets about inheritance because he wanted them as a reference for himself in his Friday speech. This made us feel proud as different categories of the society are supporting women's right".


The project coordinator explained that currently they are preparing for implementing the project in the next year; and it should include more sessions across the Gaza strip. In addition to five campaign will be implementing in coordination with the project's five local partners. 


Al Nairab expressed her wishes of achieving more success in the next year; as the results of the first year give strength and support for bigger achievements.