Advancing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Palestine
National Action Plan for the implementation of UNSCR 1325
With the support of UN Women, the National Action Plan (NAP) for the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 (2017-2019), the second NAP adopted by a Government in the region, was launched by the Palestinian Authority in August 2016 and focuses on increasing women’s participation in matters related to national peace and security, enhancing the protection of Palestinian women and girls, and promoting accountability measures in line with International human rights law and International Humanitarian Law.
Guided by NAP priorities, other UN Women’s interventions have focused on capacity development of key WPS actors, knowledge production on the gendered impact of conflict on Palestinian women’s lives, and dialogue building and highlevel advocacy. UN Women continues to work with key national partners to catalyze the effective resourcing, monitoring and implementation of the NAP on UNSCR 1325 aiming at furthering the WPS agenda through policy change and community-level action.
UN Women seeks to increase women’s meaningful participation in formal and informal peace negotiations and internal reconciliation efforts. Through different interventions, UN Women aims to build the capacity of women cadres/leaders on the concepts of leadership, conflict resolution, mediation, peacebuilding, gender in peace processes, communications and advocacy and support the participation of young women leaders in political parties and peace and security dialogues.
UN Women has also supported dialogue through Open Days on WPS starting from 2015, with subsequent events in 2016 and 2017 in the West bank and Gaza to inform the Security Council’s Annual Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security and the Secretary General’s Annual Report with recommendations vis-à-vis advancing the WPS agenda in Palestine. The Open Days in Palestine constituted excellent platforms for women leaders to speak directly with senior UN leaders at the country level to share their experiences, concerns and priorities as a contribution to national and regional efforts to resolve conflicts and build security.
Relief and Recovery
Understanding that the humanitarian crisis in Palestine is characterized as protracted crisis where gender inequality is both a development and humanitarian concern, UN Women adopts approaches that ensure that WPS programming includes interventions that are carefully designed to respond to the lived realities of those populations affected by conflict particularly women and girls in fragile settings. In areas most affected by conflict such as Gaza, UN Women supported women’s and youth’s participation in post-conflict recovery planning and implementation in particular to support developing public spaces that are gender inclusive and free from sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). UN Women has also supported women rendered most vulnerable by the conflict such as women internally displaced to access livelihood opportunities and humanitarian services.
As the gender-based violence (GBV) patterns and drivers in Palestine cannot be isolated from the impact of the overall political, humanitarian, and economic context which increases the risk and vulnerability to GBV, UN Women has developed and implemented several programmes that focused on protecting women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence, particularly focusing on those most affected by conflict. UN Women programmes have adopted several approaches ranging from providing direct essential service to women survivors of GBV to mobilizing men and boys to promote positive masculinity as agents of change.
UN coordination and reporting
In cooperation with the Gender Task Force, UN Women drafts the Secretary General’s annual report on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women. UN Women is also keen to coordinate efforts with other UN agencies to further the WPS agenda.
Gender Equality in Humanitarian Action and Crisis Response
Multi-sectoral and gender responsive services to women and girls affected by conflict
UN Women has worked in partnership with women’s organizations and key humanitarian partners to provide immediate and essential services to women and girls affected by conflict in the West Bank and Gaza through ensuring their access to economic opportunities, effective multi-sectoral services, protection mechanisms and empowerment support. Through its operational response, UN Women has also ensured that services are provided to women with disabilities and women internally displaced. Over the years, more than 20,000 women and 5,000 men have benefited from UN Women’s interventions.
Strengthened architecture and accountability on gender equality in oPt humanitarian country team
The partnership between UN Women and OCHA has effectively resulted in mobilizing action, accountability and leadership amongst humanitarian partners for strengthening gender focus in humanitarian coordination in Palestine. This is demonstrated by the increased visibility of gender related needs and concerns, inclusion of gender coordination mechanisms in humanitarian coordination architecture (the Humanitarian Gender Group (HGG)), and increased cluster capacity and response to humanitarian gender priorities.
Increased capacity of humanitarian partners for mainstreaming gender in humanitarian action
UN Women organizes capacity building activities on a yearly basis that target cluster coordination teams and partners which focused on identifying and responding to cluster specific gender capacity needs (i.e. gender analysis, gender with age marker (GAM), gender in sectoral response). Besides, UN Women supported the clusters develop gender assessments and toolkits to strengthen the gender mainstreaming of cluster responses.
Content of humanitarian needs overview and response plans better reflects gender priorities and action
UN Women has systematically provided technical support to humanitarian partners over the years to ensure the content of humanitarian needs overview and response plans highlight and address gender concerns. Those improvements are reflected through the inclusion of gender analysis of the impact of the crisis; definition of gender differentiated humanitarian needs; use of sex-disaggregated data; inclusion of gender sensitive performance indicators; prioritizing needs related to GBV, and the expansion of the scope of humanitarian response to include activities that address gender-based vulnerabilities.
Strengthened participation of women’s organizations in humanitarian processes
A number of activities implemented aimed at increasing the participation of women's organizations in humanitarian processes through providing them with information on humanitarian processes and planning cycles, identifying entry points for participation in humanitarian clusters and activities, and advocating for increased financing for humanitarian projects submitted by women's organizations. The result of this outreach to women's organizations was visible in the increased participation of women's organizations in cluster meetings, their inclusion in HCT advocacy activities, and their ability to access funding under the Humanitarian Fund.
Increased visibility of the needs and rights of Palestinian women and girls in advocacy and communication
A number of resources have been produced targeting the humanitarian country team in order to inform the humanitarian response and highlight gender concerns in advocacy and communications. Resources developed include:
- Caught up between a Rock & a Hard Place: Occupation, Patriarchy and Gender Relations (A Case Study of Palestinian Women in Area C & H2) (2018)
- Gender Alert: A framework of analysis of gender-based vulnerabilities for the humanitarian response (2018)
- Restricted Lives: Women’s Voices Under Blockade in Gaza (2017)
- Navigating through Shattered Paths: NGO Service Providers and Women Survivors of Gender-Based Violence in Gaza (2017)
- International Legal Accountability Mechanisms: Palestinian Women Living under occupation (2016)