Beirut, 31 July 2017 (Communication and Information Unit) -- Under the patronage of Palestinian Minister of Women’s Affairs Haifa Al-Agha, the National Consultation on Costing Violence against Women in the State of Palestine today started in Amman, Jordan, at the Landmark Hotel.
The event, which will close tomorrow Tuesday, is organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the UN Women. The national consultation comes as a first step towards working on a project that seeks to calculate the economic cost of marital violence based on the economic model developed by ESCWA and UN Women to be appropriate to the reality of the Arab States.
The opening session of the meeting saw statements by Minister Al-Agha; ESCWA Deputy Executive Secretary Khawla Mattar; UN Women Regional Director Mohamed Al-Nasseri as well as Director of the ESCWA Centre for Women Mehrinaz Elawady.
In her statement, Minister Al-Agha stressed that the Palestinian woman is an icon of integrity and struggle in the free world, and that she is an example in steadfastness, determination and strength due to her struggle and her role in rejecting the occupation. Therefore, the government should protect and support her. She noted that one of the most important causes of violence against women was the worldly view of women that is derived from the culture and the role of poverty, the main cause of women's increased dependence on men. Al-Agha also hoped that the consultations would contribute to practical steps to estimate the cost of violence and to achieve a qualitative leap towards the low rates of violence against women.
ESCWA Deputy Executive Secretary Khawla Mattar stressed that amidst the multiple conflicts and occupations, the Arab world is in urgent need for the construction and creation of homelands where people are protected from violence. She said violence against women is most dangerous, although accepting it comes under the guise of customs, traditions and invocation of cultural specificity. She also stressed the commitment of the ESCWA Executive Secretary to the continued support of the Commission for the State of Palestine, its government and its people, as well as the support of the Commission for the advancement of women and gender justice; for fighting violence against women; and for reducing violence in Arab societies.
For his part, UN Women Regional Director Mohamed Al-Nasseri said the United Nations seeks to establish scientific foundations to support Arab women, especially in the State of Palestine, in order to improve the status of women and reduce violence in line with international conventions and agreements.
Presenting the project on the costing of violence against women in Palestine, Director of the ESCWA Centre for Women Mehrinaz Elawady said it was implemented by ESCWA in partnership with the UN Women and the Ministry of Women's Affairs in Palestine, explaining that these national consultations complement a regional project that resulted in the design of an economic model to calculate the cost of violence against women, which is being tested in the State of Palestine.