Palestinian TV Plans to Tackle Violence Against Women

The Ma'an Network will use a grant from the British government for a three-year project to combat domestic violence.

Reuters

An independent Palestinian TV network is planning to air a series of programs dealing with violence against women during 2015, the Guardian reported.

The programs will be part of a multimedia project initiated by the Ma'an Network to raise awareness of, and seek to prevent, violence against women and girls.

The programs, which will be supported by a series of workshops on violence and how to prevent it, will be aimed at women, men and children. Religious and local leaders will be encouraged to attend.

The Ma’an Network is an independent, non-profit media organization broadcasting to the West Bank and Gaza. Based in Bethlehem, it has regional offices in Ramallah, Nablus and Gaza.

The network will use a 4.43 million shekels (£730,000) grant from the British government to air shows that tackle often taboo subjects, such as marital rape, over the next three years.

It has already established a gender unit, staffed by three people – a journalist, a lawyer and an education expert – to oversee content.

“Violence against women in my country is still widespread,” said Raed Othman, founder and general director of the network.

“Women are still killed because of ‘honor’ if families think they have a sexual relationship outside of marriage. There is significant violence against women – economic violence against women, social violence, verbal violence against women.

Culture and tradition are the main justifications for violence against women in Palestine, according to a report published by the Palestinian Authority in 2011, The Israeli occupation was also a major factor in dehumanizing women.

“The occupation increases the burden on Palestinian women by destroying infrastructure and endangering their human security, further contributing to the denial of their basic rights,” said the report, which set out an eight-year national strategy to tackle the problem.

The Ma’an Network project is the first of its kind in the region.