The Instigators of the Family Protection Law

The Family Protection Law and Palestine’s signature of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) led to a state of controversy in the Palestinian society, particularly in the West Bank.

Written by: Kifah Manasra

The Family Protection Law and Palestine’s signature of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) led to a state of controversy in the Palestinian society, particularly in the West Bank, which was reflected by social media and protests.

Those who demand the adoption of the Family Protection Law are accused of subserving to the West and its agenda, indicating that this Law is contrary to Islamic law, although it stresses the necessity to protect Palestinian families, especially women and children. It is in accordance with other international agreements that Palestine has signed after the documentation of the continuous increase in the crime rate of domestic violence. It is also one of the most important tools that provides protection from violence against women and children and achieves justice. Pressure is required in order to pass the Family Protection Law and to end the violence.

Until recently, Palestinians considered the ratification and signing of international conventions related to human rights as a victory.  Since Palestinians suffer from oppression and violence, these conventions would value their protection, especially marginalized women and youth. This is one of the factors that contributed to Palestine’s signing of the CEDAW Agreement. However, we began to see attacks and doubts on the value of joining these treaties, especially those related to women and family, even though domestic and societal violence increased in the Palestinian society.

There are some Palestinians who support international and national laws and agreements related to economic policies. Do they support these laws and agreements because they are consistent with their economic interests? There are agreements that increased dependency and the economic, social and psychological dispossession of the Palestinian society and directly affected the security and stability of the family and society, thus leading to new manifestations of violence. Due to Palestine’s state of collective helplessness, backwardness, dependency and poverty grew in the Palestinian society and Arab community, which established further vulnerability of marginalised groups who lack power, indicating an increase in violence and exclusion.

What is strange is that those who reject change do not express any objection or contempt towards those who threaten their family’s security by subjugating and subordinating them to oppressive policies. Instead, we see hate speech and calls for violence against those demanding commitment to the conventions related to women and the family, such as the Family Protection Law, as these laws aim to provide security and protection for all members of society. The opposition of the adoption of the Family Protection Law, with close attention to the existing circumstance, comes from the premise that this Law, together with the relevant agreements, establishes a state of awareness and empowers Palestinian families, especially women and youth.

The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the opinion of the Association or donor.

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