Guidance Note on Women’s Rights During the COVID-19 Emergency

Amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 Coronavirus in the State of Palestine, on 5 March 2020, President Mahmoud Abbas declared a 30-day state of emergency. Consequently, the Prime Minister introduced a series of measures and restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the virus. Such measures include: i. a ban on movement of people between governorates; ii. a ban of movement of residents from rural areas and refugee camps to city centers, except for medical and emergency situations; iii. an order for all citizens to stay in their homes, except for essential matters; and iv. compulsory 14-day quarantine for those who have been in close contact with infected persons, or entered Palestine from abroad. On 3 April, the President issued another Decree extending the state of emergency for additional 30 days, leaving the already introduced measures and restrictions in place.

The declaration of a state of emergency carries a number of obligations in accordance with the Palestinian Basic Law and applicable international human rights treaties that the Government of Palestine has acceded to. The imposition of restrictions for people to leave their homes may put women in a more vulnerable position, taking into account the prevalent traditional gender roles in Palestine. Thus, additional attention and protection measures for women are necessary.

This guidance note ensures the full inclusion of women’s rights in all aspects of decision-making during the COVID-19 emergency and addresses gender-specific vulnerabilities to be undertaken by all relevant government institutions, in partnership with civil society and the private sector, so that the emergency situation does not exacerbate existing gender inequalities in Palestine.

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Guidance Note on Women’s Rights During the COVID-19 Emergency (English)

Guidance Note on Women’s Rights During the COVID-19 Emergency (Arabic)

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Languages available: English; Arabic

Bibliographic information

Geographic coverage: Arab States/North Africa; Palestine, State of

Subject area(s): Ending violence against women and girls; Women’s rights; Service delivery; Economic empowerment; COVID-19; Sexual and reproductive health and rights

Resource type: Guidance notes

UN Women office involved in publication: Palestine Country Office

Publication year: 2020

Number of pages: 5