The Psychosocial Counseling Center for Women continues its uninterrupted journey, spanning 27 years, in defending women’s rights in Palestine and striving towards the collective dream of building a Palestinian society that is grounded in principles of justice and equality, and rejects oppression and discrimination. A society in which women participate in all aspects of life alongside men, and have equal opportunities in the fields of work, education, decision-making, and contributing to the formulation of national policies. We work in partnership with other components of the women’s movement in Palestine to achieve our shared goals, including ending the negative phenomenon of violence against women, which unfortunately continues to expand and affect broader sectors of women.
We work with vigor, enthusiasm, and conviction to reach the most marginalized women who suffer from neglect and lack of access to services, whether in Bedouin settlements (Rashaida, Kisan), the areas of Masafer Yatta and Jordan Valley, or the “Area C” classified regions in all West Bank governorates, especially Salfit, Qalqilya, Hebron, Bethlehem, and Nablus. We provide comprehensive services that include individual and group mental health services, as well as legal services, such as court representation, direct services, and consultations. Along with providing these direct services, we implement advocacy and lobbying activities that aim to mobilize supporters for women’s rights and increase pressure on decision-makers to approve legislation of the Family Protection Law from Violence and other legislations based on international agreements that the Palestinian National Authority has committed to. Bringing national policies and legislation in line with these agreements requires considerable effort. At the Psychosocial Counseling Center for Women, we work with unwavering faith to create social change and challenge the beliefs and ideas propagated by female preachers and religious leaders in mosques, who have a significant influence on various social sectors and play an active and critical role in consolidating concepts and beliefs that contradict the human rights system, especially women’s rights. We have worked with hundreds of female preachers and religious leaders, relying on an official agreement signed with the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs that allows us to target this sector, and we have achieved tangible successes in this area.
Our work progress takes place under political conditions characterized by escalation from the occupation army and settlers, particularly at the beginning of this year which witnessed further killings, house demolitions, land confiscations, arrests of hundreds of citizens, and executions at point-blank range. What has been happening specifically in Jenin and Nablus testifies to the fascism of the current ruling government in the occupying state, which includes individuals known for adopting an ideology that calls for ethnic cleansing, expelling Palestinians from their land, using direct killing against Palestinians, and expanding settlements at the expense of Palestinian citizens’ lands.
The ongoing crimes committed by the occupying government are taking place under a global silence and the clear use of double standards in dealing with the issues of citizens, which are based on interests rather than legitimate rights, principles of justice, and human rights.
The world bears a moral and humanitarian responsibility towards what is happening in Palestine, and we must work with all our faith to exert pressure on various international bodies to try this illegitimate entity for its persistent crimes against our people.
The events taking place on the ground require us to expand the scope of our interventions to cover broader sectors. Therefore, we are working to reach families that were targeted during the repeated attacks in Jenin and Nablus, and we will provide our services to the bereaved families to help them overcome these difficult experiences and strengthen their psychological resilience.
We are aware of the magnitude of the challenges we face and the limited resources available to us, but what helps us is the strong belief we hold within us that we contribute to reducing the suffering of our people, especially women and children. We support them and provide them with the necessary tools to empower them and move forward.
“We will continue our journey armed with our strong belief in the justice of our struggle.
General Director of the Psychosocial Counseling Center for Women