Prosecutors trained in working with women victims of violence

Working with UNWOMEN, the Institute of Women’s Studies concluded an extracurricular course working with public prosecutors to incorporate the rights of women victims of violence into their work. The program targeted 26 public prosecutors, members of the Family Protection Units.

The graduation ceremony was held in the presence of the Director of the Institute of Women's Studies, Eileen Kuttab, Vice President for Community Affairs Assem Khalil, Assistant Attorney-General Ashraf Erekat, head of the Family Protection Units prosecution team Darine Salhia, women's activist advocate Halima Abu Solb, and UN gender specialist Huda Rouhana.

The course aimed at understanding the concept of violence from a gender perspective within the Palestinian context and as it relates to occupation/militarism, patriarchy, and economic exploitation.

It tackled a number of issues including violence against women in local courts, where participants were trained to prepare pleadings before the courts, using the constitutional tools and the international agreements that the State of Palestine has committed to, and the mechanism of linking these agreements to the Basic Law and promoting the concept of human dignity in litigation.

The participants were introduced to concepts of gender and violence against women in the social and political context and understanding power relations and social structures and their impact on women's access to justice in Palestine. Training was also provided in techniques for dealing with women and children, victims of sexual abuse, and the most important legal problems members of the public prosecution face while prosecuting offenders, in terms of charges and the severity of punishment.

The training team included Lena Meari, faculty member at the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Institute of Women Studies; Said Shehadeh, faculty member at the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences; lawyer Halemah Abu Solb; lawyer Ashraf Abu Hayyah; lawyer Sawsan Zaher who is also director of the Economic and Social Rights Unit at Adalah organization; and lawyer Hassan Jabareen, founder of Adalah and director of the Civil and Political Rights Unit at Adalah organization.