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Gaza-December2017,  during a conference held by Women’s Affairs Center entitled ” Human services and gender- experiences and visions ” in partnership with UNWOMEN and funded by AECID,  the audience recommended to put plans and strategies ensuring women empowerment and gender equality during  providing humanitarian services. The conference involved many researchers, journalists , activists , and Mukhtars.

This conference comes under the advocacy campaign on” Advocating for gender responsive humanitarian assistance post crisis in the Gaza Strip”, implemented by Women’s Affairs Center in Gaza.

Amal Syam , director of WAC said that ” programs and humanitarian relief projects responses to the emergency situations  where they provide services and interventions including humanitarian , relief , and developmental, emphasizing that providing services doesn’t easy matter as it needs to know well all different groups that receive  services   based on specific principals to ensure the access of service for real needed people and gender as it is one of the related issues”.” The matter does not mean just focusing on gender issues, but the matter relates directly with identifying needs, abilities , and contributions  of different women, girls , boys, and men, as ignoring such needs has serious and negative impact”. She added also that the center targets women and girls, providing their needs  where women suffering and caring more than men as this is lead WAC to pay attention for gender and all its related issues . conflicts and war always increase discrimination and oppression which restrict achieving equality between both gender and women having all their human rights “.

Heba Al Zayan, Director of unwomen program in Gaza said ” how unwomen started working within this agenda after Israeli aggression of 2008-2009, where unwomen started providing services considering gender such as nutrition, house, clothes, water and other services .” she added also ” during the latest years there were emergencies services but the question was how we can consider gender sensitivity toward women so we conducted data collection and statistics, and studies to reach this matter jointly with groups of civil societies”.

– The conference tackled five working papers submitted by stakeholders (OCHA, Palestinian Medical Relief Society, Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network,  Ministry of Social Development and Ministry of Health). The papers discussed engendering the  humanitarian services. The participants recommended the following:

  • Prepare a guide on how to deal with the violated women and conduct trainings target the medical staff.
  • Conduct trainings for female doctors on medical checkup for sexually abused women.
  • Provide safe centers for safe birth in crisis.
  • Raise awareness on gender based violence.
  • Provide integrated packages of food and non-food assistance specifically for women-led households.
  • Enhancing coordination between women organizations and the Ministry of Social Development in order to evaluate and develop programs, especially those related to gender in times of crisis.
  • Integrate combat gender-based violence strategies into national and local policies and plans for camps coordination and management.
  • Consult gender-based violence experts to identify safe, confidential and appropriate care systems for displaced people.
  • Recognize the important role of non-governmental organizations in engendering the humanitarian services in the Gaza Strip.
  • Strengthen the national ownership of humanitarian action in Palestine and enable non-governmental organizations to play a more active role in partnership with the governmental organizations.
  • Emphasize that humanitarian interventions must be within human rights based approach, in order to ensure the rights of vulnerable groups. WAC designed a digital copy of the conference booklet involved working papers and recommendations. The booklet will be published and disseminated to stakeholders via internet