Palestinian Center for Communication and Development Strategies (PCCDS)
In January 2011 the increasing “Honour Killings” in the Palestinian area of Hebron prompted PCCDS to request funds to hold a series of workshops with various audiences (staff working in law enforcement, civil society and women’s organizations, educational institutions and parents and students), lobby Palestinian government ministries and councils, conduct radio interviews and to hold a general conference on the issue. PCCDS identified that the issue of “honor crimes” which often entails killing any woman who is suspected of having an “illegal relationship” with a man other than her husband, is increasing in Hebron.
The mission of PCCDS is to develop the abilities of Palestinian NGOs, youth and women groups to protect human rights. As a consciousness campaign PCCDS anticipates that the initiative proposed will provide a “noticeable improvement in the social public awareness to end these crimes [honour killings] forever.”
With UAF funds, PCCDS organized 16 workshops on honor killings, held a conference on the role of civil society in the alleviation of honor killings and protecting the rights of women, organized 10 radio meetings with Siraj radio in Hebron, implemented 3 campaigns against the government’s handling of these killings, and demanded the integration of awareness campaigns in schools. About 700 people participated in the campaigns, conference and workshops. The conference developed recommendations that were given to representatives from the Palestinian Authority. Also for the first time, 126 men from clans in Hebron signed a document to increase the punishment of those committing honor killings in their area. PCCDS stated that as a result of their campaign, no new cases of honor killings occurred during the time of this project, there is increased awareness of this issue in the countryside, and “the role of media in strengthening the role of the courts was promoted.” The activities were so successful that PCCDS is currently fundraising in order to be able to implement the project in other cities in Palestine.