UNRWA fights back against violence against womenListen /
UNRWA- the UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees, celebrated International Women's Day Friday, by calling for an end to violence against women and girls. A series of campaign events throughout areas such as Gaza and Syria celebrated the UN's theme for the day: "A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women."
In embattled Syria, workshops held throughout the country aimed to equip Palestinian and internally-displaced (IDP) Syrian women with the tools to help their community in the face of a protracted emergency. At UNRWA's emergency shelter for IDPs in Khan Dannoun, women who had fled their homes were trained in psychological support techniques, how to respond to abuse, and physical and economic survival in the midst of conflict.
In neighbouring Lebanon, UNRWA staff got together with local organisations to launch a week of public discussions, fairs, public walks, and even puppet shows aiming to raise awareness of the impact of violence against women.
UNRWA's 243 schools in the Gaza Strip marked International Women's Day with class discussions about respect for women, asking students to identify women that they most admire in their communities, as well as in Palestinian and world history. The teaching sessions are part of an anti-violence campaign launched by UNRWA in Gaza last week, aiming to help the local community to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.