Awareness-raising Meeting: the Personal Status Law and its Relation to Women’s Economic and Social Rights

REFORM implemented an awareness-raising session entitled: “The Personal Status Law and its Relation to Women’s Economic and Social Rights” to enhance women’s awareness of the role of the Personal Status Law in achieving social and economic security. 

achieving social and economic security for women

The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development—REFORM, implemented an awareness-raising session entitled: “The Personal Status Law and its Relation to Women’s Economic and Social Rights,” via the electronic application, ZOOM.  This session included the participation of Ms. Khulood Samoh, a lawyer from the Palestinian Maintenance Fund (PMF), and Ms. Salwa Bannoura, a lawyer from the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC), along with the project’s beneficiaries and community activists.  This meeting aimed to enhance women’s awareness of the role of the Personal Status Law in achieving social and economic security. It also sought to highlight the preventions that women encounter in achieving this security, whether it is from the provisions of the law or the implementation mechanism.

Financing for this initiative was made possible by the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF), a flexible and rapid financing tool supporting quality interventions to enhance the capacity of women in Palestine and around the world working to prevent conflict, respond to crises and seize key peacebuilding opportunities. With technical support from UN Women Palestine, this project comes in light of the challenges that women encounter, particularly in Area C and H2 areas of the Hebron Governorate.

Palestinian women and the Personal status law

Regarding the role of the Personal Status Law in achieving social and economic security for women, Ms. Salwa Bannoura discussed the problems women encounter in terms of the texts of the law, as the Personal Status Law that is applied in Palestine is a Jordanian law issued in 1976 and was amended only in Jordan. Also, it does not properly meet women’s need, especially in matters of child custody, marriage age, marriage contract, and divorce, which led to the issuance of generalizations from the Palestinian Judiciary Judge to amend some provisions of the law that have a duty to protect women’s rights.   One of these generalizations included raising the age of marriage in 2019, with some exceptions, which have also become part of the manipulation of the law.

Moreover, Ms. Khulood Samoh discussed the extent to which the Personal Status Law is linked to the economic reality of women, as this law guarantees women their economic rights from their husband, son or father through alimony, dowry and in cases of divorce arbitration. She further highlighted the PMF’s role, established in 2005, in enabling women to receive their alimony.

At the end of the meeting, the speakers stressed the need to educate women about their rights because the Personal Status Law brings justice to women and alleviates their suffering.

ABOUT the project

This training comes as part of the “Women in Conflict Prevention in Hebron – Palestine” Project, implemented by The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development—REFORM, in partnership with the Rural Women’s Development Society (RWDS) and in cooperation with the Arab Educational Institute. This project aims to increase women’s participation in decision-making processes and enhance the role of both women and men in building safe societies responsive to the needs of women.

ABOUT WPHF

The Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) mobilizes critical financial support for local and grassroots civil-society organizations working on women, peace and security and humanitarian action. Since its launch in 2016, WPHF has funded over 140 civil-society organizations in 12 countries supporting women on the front lines to be a force for crisis response and lasting peace.

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