Ad against domestic violence in the PA – funded by Canada, produced by the UN
Are the international supporters aware
that the PA preaches the exact opposite?
Abbas’ advisor about PA having signed the international Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women: “The PA is only committed to that which is “consistent with Islamic law”
The Palestinian Authority is currently running a TV ad that speaks out against domestic violence and informs women (and male victims as well) where they can get help. The ad stresses that domestic violence is more than just physical blows, and includes psychological violence, sexual coercion, and also the withholding of resources. The ad is paid for by Canada and produced by the UN. (See below):
Narrator: “Violence is damage that harms women, young women, men, and young men. It has many forms such as physical blows, psychological violence, or sex against your will.
Violence is not only physical, [but] also threats, coercion, and withholding resources such as studies, monetary expenditures, inheritance, and access to services.
Did you know that last year, 243 million women suffered from sexual or physical violence worldwide?
In Palestine, 29% of the women were subjected to violence by their husbands…
Violence is not inevitable. Violence is unacceptable. You can always get help.
You can find information on the protection and support services for victims of violence at:
The gender-based guide for violence services”
[Official PA TV, several times since Jan. 4, 2021]
But do the Canadian funders and the UN offices involved in the ad know that the PA often preaches a contradictory message? Palestinian Media Watch has exposed that the PA’s official stand on women’s rights is quite different and that the PA has even condoned domestic violence.
Abbas’ advisor and PA's Supreme Shari'ah Judge, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, has emphasized that even though the PA signed the international Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), they are “not committed to it at all, except for what is consistent with Islamic law" (emphasis added):
Abbas’ advisor, Supreme Shari’ah Judge, and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice Mahmoud Al-Habbash: "President [Abbas'] ratification in 2009 (sic., 2014) of the CEDAW convention was a ratification conditioned on what is consistent with the Palestinian constitution, with the Basic Law… We have a Basic Law that says: 'Islamic law is the source of legislation' … Truthfully, even if we signed the CEDAW convention we are not committed to it at all, except for what is consistent with Islamic law… We are committed to the international laws in what does not contradict our national heritage, religious heritage, and our faith. The president has said this, the [PA] government has said this, and we [the Supreme Council for Shari’ah Justice] have said this."
[Facebook page of Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Jan. 9, 2020]
PMW has exposed numerous statements and rulings by PA top officials that uphold the discrimination against women – and even sanction domestic violence. Ironically – and tragically - the same advisor of Abbas, Al-Habbash, justified violence against Palestinian women at the exact same time the PA ran a similar ad that taught Palestinians that it is never okay to hit women.
The PA’s Grand Mufti – the highest religious authority in the PA – often presents “rulings” that minimize women’s rights. Recently, he instructed that Palestinian women can’t travel without a male relative as chaperone. Another religious official, the preacher of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Head of the Supreme Muslim Council Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, has prohibited Palestinian women from submitting complaints against their spouses to Israeli police.
At the end of the PA TV ad against domestic violence the following text appears:
“This video was produced by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) through the joint program ‘Life’ – eradicating violence against women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The joint program ‘Life’ is for five years, and it works to put an end to violence against women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and it is funded by the Canadian government.”
“The program is being implemented in partnership with the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the UN fund for population (UN-Habitat), and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and in participation with the [PA] Ministry of Women’s Affairs and [Ministry of] Social Development, along with a number of relevant [PA] government ministries and civil society organizations.”
[Official PA TV, several times daily since Jan. 4, 2021]