Thursday, 28 October. 2021
Your Key to Palestine
The Palestinian Initiatives for The Promotoion of Global Dialogue and Democracy

Ramallah -- On April 21, MIFTAH held a session to showcase the results of a report reviewing the measures and protocols of the National Referral System and to discuss these results and the practical steps required to address the gaps uncovered by the report. The session was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Social Development, the police and several civil society institutions that work with the referral system.

The session showcased a report in which researcher Mahmoud Franji reviewed the procedural prototypes adopted in four official institutions considered main partners in the execution of the National Referral System for battered women: the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Health, the police, and the governorate. The report drew a comparison between the applied procedures and those of the system. The critical comments of each official sector were showcased and responses to each one discussed. The participants confirmed that the amendments to the procedure manuals must be updated based on the legal changes pertaining to the protection of women from violence.

The presentation also indicated that through the practical implementation of the referral system and the manuals for each sector, several gaps were evident in relation to joint coordination and cooperation. It also showed the absence of the principle of social justice in Palestinian legislative politics, which has rendered the current legislative system incomplete and fragmented. This is over and above the bureaucracy within official institutions, which constitutes one of the major obstacles to implementation. The attendees called for the implementation of the principle of accountability and raising social awareness to the crime of gender-based violence in addition to restoring the role of the governorate to the police, general prosecution and judiciary. They also pointed to the need for specific laws such as the Family Protection Law, based on a holistic vision for social protection.

Among the most significant outcomes of the session was agreement among the participants on the need to update the National Referral System, especially in light of the social changes and legal developments that arose since the inception of the system in 2013. MIFTAH will assume the follow-up and accountability of all parties responsible for executing the system in a way that protects all women victims of gender-based violence in Palestinian society.

The session is part of the “Towards Enhancing Palestinian Women and Youth Protection and Participation” project, which MIFTAH implements with GIZ-support. Through this project, MIFTAH seeks to promote the protection of battered women and ensure their access to the pillars of protection and justice in Palestinian society, in addition to impacting relevant policies and laws to lower the level of violence. This could be achieved through implementing the National Referral System and unifying measures pertaining to the system’s integration in a way that supports the access of services to women and girls subjected to GBV in Palestinian society.

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