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Women’s rights activists call for nationwide campaign against gender-based violence

By Rana Husseini - Feb 03,2021 - Last updated at Feb 03,2021

AMMAN — Activists on Wednesday said there is an urgent need to organise a nationwide campaign to strengthen their cooperation to address violence against women.

The call came during a virtual event that was organised by Solidarity Is Global Institute (SIGI) and attended by a group of experts on domestic violence.

The organisation, through its coalition “Fatmeh”, has called for an emergency meeting to discuss the recent reported increase in violence cases against women, said SIGI Executive Director Asma Khader.

“We need to address domestic violence in a civil and national manner since there is an obvious increase in cases related to domestic violence,” Khader told the gathering.

Khader pointed out that the authorities’ response to gender-based violence cases “was not up to our aspiration”.

“We have witnessed several gender-based violence cases over the past months that targeted women and noticed that the authorities’ response was either not quick or enough to protect them,” Khader stressed.

Former director of the Amneh Safe House, Raghda Azzeh, agreed with Khader saying that “female survivors of gender-based violence complained of weakness in the “authorities’ procedures to protect them”.

In July of 2018, Amneh entity became the first guesthouse to take in women whose lives are threatened in the name of so-called family honour.

“Many of the women I dealt with while at the Amneh Safe House informed me that the procedures to protect them were not clear and that many of these women lost faith and confidence in the system to protect them,” Azzeh said.

Sociologist Helmi Sari, who has been working on gender-based violence since the mid-1980s in Jordan, said the focus should be on “men in our society”.

“The social media pushed many cases to the surface … in my opinion, work should be focused on raising men’s awareness about gender-based violence cases,” Sari said.

The participants agreed on draft a national strategy that addresses ways to deal with cases of domestic violence and to follow up on this matter with the relevant authorities.

They also said it is important to identify all the laws that incriminate violence against women and raise awareness about it.

Another important step is to study all the cases and to learn more from the survivors about their needs.

SIGI launched the Jordanian National Network for the Protection from Gender-Based Violence During Emergencies and Crisis “Fatmeh” in December 2020.  

Khader called on anyone in any part of the Kingdom to join the coalition. “Our aim is to build a strong civil coalition that includes anyone who wants to join the fight against gender-based violence because addressing this issue benefits the entire society,” Khader said.

 

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