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Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development (PWWSD)

Ramallah Palestine
June 2011

Grant Description

Palestinians have noted an alarming increase in femicide in their communities, often tagged as “”honor killing.”” Most often perpetrated by a male family member, as the Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development (PWWSD) explains in their request, these murders “reflect the long-standing patriarchal traditions which cast the male as the protector of the female, putting him in total control of her body and life. Therefore, if for any reason the males senses a breach in this relation, the family’s honor is at stake, and fatal measures are usually taken.” In April 2010, a young woman from Al Khalil/Hebron disappeared. After over a year of investigations, locals discovered her remains in a nearby well; and her uncle confessed to the crime and claimed that it was an “”honor killing”” he committed in reponse to rumors that the woman had committed adultery. In response to the public outrage over the findings of the investigation, the president made slight amendments to the penalty code that provided leniency for those committing honor killings. This unexpected amendment created an opportunity for activists to pressure the government to address the issue. PWWSD requested funds to launch a massive awareness raising campaign on the increase in femicide and advocated for further amendments in the penalty code.

PWWSD is a feminist grassroots organization which advocates for gender equality and aims to eradicate discrimination against women by increasing women’s participation in development, promoting women’s civic and human rights, and improving women and girls’ mental health and psychological well-being.

Impact Report

UAF funds supported PWWSD in carrying out an awareness-raising campaign on gender-based violence that included five workshops about “Killing Women on the so-called Family Honor Background.” In these workshops, dozens of women came together to define violence and discuss its effects on women, and discuss discrimination and the need for women to defend their rights. PWWSD also produced and broadcasted a TV show on “honor killings” and participated in two radio shows to increase public sensitization to violence against women. Each show featured guest speakers to discuss the topic.