Gaza, February /2013. Specialists have emphasized on the importance of developing seminars and academic courses about woman and law for the sake of raising awareness among law students about women challenges in reaching justice and promoting their right of litigating their cases.
This comes through the conference that was held by WAC entitled with "women access to justice between reality and challenges" within the frame work of project " promoting access to justice for vulnerable women in marginalized communities of the Gaza strip" which is implemented by WAC with fund from UNDP.
The conference included four working papers discussing issues related to the importance of women's access to justice , the session was moderated by the project coordinator Mrs. Hala Al Qishawi.
During the conference considered Mrs. Amal Syam, executive director of WAC that women's access to justice is an important step towards equality which starts with fair law and legislation , although the basic Palestinian law guarantees principle of gender equality and non-discrimination, but the are major laws still in a place and contributes to devote discrimination and injustice in addition to waste of women rights and banning them from enjoying their rights.
Added Mrs. Syam that women's access to justice is everyone's responsibility, authority, civil society organizations, women's organizations and media organizations moreover women take part of this responsibility mentioning the important role of legal educational programs and legal clinics lawyers and media in advocating women's issues and contributing to their justice.
Also clarified Mrs. Syam that women's access to justice indicators are not only measured by number of women who were able to reach courts or women legal clinics to receive support and legal services , but it can also be measured by the reflection of that on their lives, their families and also their integration within the community.
She also added that women's access to justice confronts a lot of challenges and obstacles starting from community cultural background and traditions and ending with laws and legislations including community silence towards crimes committed against women and women's silence in front of their own suffering.
On his behalf clarified Mr. Ibrahim Abu Shamala , deputy director of the program supporting access to justice and rule of law in the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) through a work paper entitled with "how to improve gender justice in Palestine" as gender became one of the key components to reach justice , where the program managed to support the rule of law through his work with academic institutions to emphasize on the importance of integrating gender issues within the different training courses on the academic level or in the legal clinics.
Added Abu Shamala " through a study that was conducted in 2011, results has indicated that women ignorance of law is more than men, that’s why the program tried to focus at that time on legal literacy of women through educational sessions about women rights and related legal procedures.
He also emphasizes on the importance of having more consistent dialogue, discussion and in depth discussions among legal activists and workers in the academic field regarding women's access to gender justice in order to build better strategies for women's access to justice.
He also added that its important to provide scholarships for students to study abroad to gain that kind of knowledge as well as promoting the dissemination of publications and researches that discusses (law and community) for the sake of reaching gender justice.
He continued " during the year 2012 and for developing strategic plan and working plan for gender justice we have started coordinating for gender justice groups that includes UNDP staff employees and nominated experts from ministry of justice in addition to supreme judicial counsel, as these meetings aims to increase the level of cooperation between the three institutions in order to reach justice.
During working paper entitled with "civil community organizations role in promoting women's access to justice" emphasizes Dr. Maryam Abu Daqqa , manager of Palestinian Association for Women studies Development , that its important to focus on the promotion of legal awareness in the marginalized areas not just within the city, moreover provide trainings for large number of female lawyers in all Gaza governorates for the sake of establishing local legal clinics in every governorate to ease women access to legal counseling.
As she called for conducting workshops in all governorates for both gender for the sake of legal awareness as well as coordinating meetings with feminists in order to reach organized feminist base in addition to taking care of media and propaganda to deliver information easily for women audience.
From her side, demanded lawyer Imtyaz Hezbollah through working paper prepared by lawyer Islah Hasania which is entitled with " courts procedures and problems of implementation" with reformulating some articles in the law of enforcement or issuing memorandum for the sake of solving problems that impede implementation of court judgments, moreover she asked for waiving poor women from implementation fee and to be collected later on from the convicted person after implementation. She also demanded for mitigation procedures for women in the courts also specifying couple of days for their own inquires and issues in addition to activating fund expenses to make it more easy for poor women to demand their rights at the courts.
Said Journalist Majeda AL Belbaisy, through her paper titled with" role of media in promoting women's access to justice" that its important to fill the gap between justice institutions and media and this comes through activating public relations departments inside the justice institutions to be communication ring between both in order to open justice doors in front of media. on the other hand she emphasized on the importance of conducting training courses for journalists to provide them with instructions and information about legal issues to keep them at the save side during covering the causes for the media.
Its worth to be mentioned that the conference came out with valuable recommendations which will be documented.