EUBAM Rafah Takes Part in the Global 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence

This year, EUBAM Rafah has taken part in the International campaign against Gender-Based Violence. This campaign which began in 1991 and lasts for 16 days starts on November 25 each year, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ends on December 10, Human Rights Day. Mission members have joined this year's theme “Orange the world: End Violence against women now” and called for ending all forms of violence against women and girls.  

Women around the world are more vulnerable to violence; whether in their homes, streets or workplaces. According to estimates published by WHO, about 1 in 3 women are subjected to physical or sexual violence across their lifetime, often starting early by someone they know. These numbers, largely unchanged over the years due to traditions and customary practices in the most part, have been further exacerbated by the emergence and spread of COVID-19 pandemic and the adoption of emergency measures by the different governments including but not limited to lockdowns and restrictions on movement which continue to date but to varying degrees.

As per the most recent violence survey conducted by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the prevalence of violence against women in the Palestinian Society has decreased over the past decade by 16% in the Gaza Strip (from 51% to 35%) and by 8% in the West Bank (from 30% to 22%). However, more than 60% of women in cases of early marriage under 18 and sexual abuse by their partners agree that women should tolerate violence and choose to remain silent to keep the family together.

Ms. Nagham Khawashki, the focal point for gender related issues at EUBAM Rafah, commented "We in EUBAM Rafah are part of a whole; the Mission is home to members from the bigger EU family as well as the Palestinian community. In our activities, both in-house and with our counterparts at the General Administration for Borders and Crossings (GABC), we ensure gender inclusion and equality in a manner that is consistent with the fundamental values of the European Union. For the duration of this year's campaign, we have joined efforts to spread awareness on the prevention of violence against women and girls and to raise the voice for acting towards ending gender-based violence in places like workplaces and on borders. In the larger picture, we aspire we get to a state where women are protected and able to participate fully in society without fear. It is our responsibility, both men and women, to fight this phenomenon"