HAYA Joint Programme to Eliminate Violence against Women: PCHR Starts Training Courses for Educational Institutions’ Staff

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) started the first training course within HAYA Joint Programme Awareness-Raising and Capacity Building for Educational Institutions’ Staff to Eliminate Violence against Women. The Program is implemented in cooperation with United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to train teachers working in UNRWA schools across the Gaza Strip. The 25-hour training course is conducted over the course of 5 days, noting that the 15 training courses scheduled in the project’s first year (2019-2020) will target 400 members of the educational institutions.

This Training Course comes as part of a project in partnership between PCHR and UN Women under HAYA Joint Program that is funded by the Government of Canada. The project aims to develop the knowledge and skills of teachers to contribute to decreasing the phenomenon of violence against women, particularly gender-based violence, according to a new educational methodology that agrees with human rights.

The training program addresses several topics that meet the needs of the target group and promote the concepts of human rights, particularly women’s rights as stipulated in international conventions and gender-based violence issues. The training program topics include the concepts, forms, causes and means to address gender-based violence; the legal intervention and protection mechanisms for women who are victims of violence; Palestinian legislations and their role in protecting women; national intervention program for the victims of violence; and role of teachers in decreasing the phenomenon of violence.

Mona Shawa, Head of PCHR’s Women’s Rights Unit and Project Manager, emphasized PCHR’s history in promoting and protecting women’s rights, with its dedication of one of its units for disseminating and enhancing women’s rights in the Palestinian society; supporting all efforts exerted to achieve justice and redress for victims of violence; and providing legal aid and consultation for victims. Shawa added that teachers play a major role in combating violence, and such training courses focus on their main needs and improve their training skills and responsiveness to violence cases for them to provide the necessary aid, counselling and protection for victims of violence. This is done through enhancing social interaction between school, students and teachers to create a society that combats all forms of violence.

‘Abdul Halim Abu Samrah, Head of PCHR’s Training Unit, highlighted teachers’ role in disseminating and promoting the culture and values of human rights among students and society, praising the good relations and joint cooperation between PCHR and UNRWA’s education sector. He added that during the past years, PCHR conducted dozens of training courses for teachers to allow them acquiring the knowledge of human rights that would help them in creating a generation fully aware of its rights and freedoms. He said that HAYA Joint Program to Eliminate Violence against Women and Gender-Based Violence comes under the ongoing and joint cooperation with UNRWA’s education sector to enhance human rights values and reduce violence in the educational environment in particular, and the Palestinian society in general in order to have a secure educational environment.

Mr. Khaled Abu Safiyah, a human rights teacher at UNRWA, praised the great significance of the training program in raising awareness and capacity building of educational institutions’ staff in the field of eliminating violence against women. He emphasized that this training course has added new topics which they had no prior knowledge of.

About the HAYA Joint Programme

The HAYA Joint Programme is funded by the Government of Canada and is jointly implemented by a consortium of UN agencies consisting of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). HAYA brings together the Palestinian Authority (PA), UN agencies, civil society organisations, community-based organisations, and other partners to reduce the vulnerability of women and girls to all forms of violence and from the threat of such violence. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Ministry of Social Development are key partners of the HAYA Joint Programme, along with other ministries including the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Local Government, and various municipalities, civil society and community-based organizations. HAYA seeks to end violence against women and girls through various outreach and awareness-raising activities to change harmful practices and attitudes perpetuating and validating violence, increase access to necessary services for survivors of violence, as well as strengthen the institutional capacity of government officials to develop and implement legal and policy frameworks promoting and protecting women’s and girls’ rights to live free from violence. The HAYA Joint Programme also focuses on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all, achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, and making cities inclusive safe, resilient, and sustainable.

Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights