Japan, UN Women to Assist Female Victims of Gender-Based Violence in Gaza

JERUSALEM, 13 April 2015 (WAFA) – The Government of Japan Monday donated $848,000 to United Nations Women for a project to support increased access of female victims of gender-based violence in Gaza to protection services, with a particular focus on internally displaced women and girls and those living in overcrowded households.

A joint press release issued by Japan’s representative in the Palestinian Territory and the UN, explained the importance of the action saying that ‘In the Gaza Strip, the lack of, and limited access to protection services for victims of gender-based violence dramatically exacerbates their existing vulnerability.”

According to data included in the press statement, ‘In 2011, 51% of ever-married women in Gaza declared having been subjected to violence by their husbands in the past 12 months (Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics).”

While this reveals an already high prevalence of domestic violence, the aftermath of conflict is often followed by increased incidence of sexual and gender based violence resulting in more demand for specialised services.

Among other issues, both parties stressed that humanitarian assistance must address this specific issue. The assistance includes legal aid, psychosocial services, and supporting shelters.

Junya Matsuura, Ambassador for the Palestinian Affairs and Representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority said, ‘Japan has had considerable concern to women’s empowerment and gender equality and contributed to making a world with no human rights violations against women. It’s our pleasure to implement the project to support vulnerable women in Gaza with the partnership with UN Women.

Meanwhile, Sabine Machl, UN Women Palestine Country Office Special Representative, added, “Japan’s strategic investment will address the specific issue of protection of female victims of gender-based violence in Gaza as part of the humanitarian assistance and protection strategy.

She said, ‘Through this support UN Women will be able to build on existing interventions in Gaza to maximise the impact of humanitarian interventions to the benefit of the most vulnerable women and girls.”

Through the Japanese fund UN Women will partner with the Women’s Legal Research and Consulting, Aisha Association for Woman and Child Protection, and Wifaq Society for Women and Children to provide holistic protection services to women and girls. It will provide key support to the Hayat Centre for provision of multipurpose services including protection, psychosocial and awareness raising services.

WAFA