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The Observatory of Violence against Women in Jenin opened its doors in February 2022, as part of the project “Territories that protect women victims of violence”. Since its launch, in this city located in the occupied West Bank, it is noted that women and girls are particularly exposed to violence, especially in times of armed conflict.

A first action plan was established in 2022, following the completion of a multi-stakeholder assessment on women’s violence in the territory. Among the priorities, the establishment of a shelter for women victims of violence.

With the rise of violence in the region and the war since October 2023, the opening of this shelter has become crucial. Maysoun Dawoud, head of the Observatory of Violence against women in Jenin, repeated this many times during our weekly exchanges.

Women who are victims of violence are isolated, confined to their homes. We feel profound fear. It is at times like these that we recognize the importance of establishing an emergency shelter for women in Jenin, as outlined in our joint project ‘Territories that protect women victims of violence'
Maysoun Dawoud

Moreover, the opening of the shelter is not the only necessary action. With war and the almost daily attacks of the Israeli army in Jenin, the population is plunged into fear and distress. Maysoun highlights a huge increase of the number of women seeking material help and psychological support.

Since October 2023, there have been 40 attacks in Jenin, with 150 people killed. In the West Bank, there are 3,000 people under administrative arrest. Sometimes Israeli soldiers go into houses to arrest a man, and if they can’t find him, they take the women— their mother, their sister, their wife…instead of him
Maysoun Dawoud

Despite the attacks, Jenin’s Observatory team continues its work, determined to help women and girls.

To deal with war and fear, a number of stress evacuation sessions have been set up, with Tamer Foundation, partner of the Observatory in Jenin, allowing women to express their anxieties.

In the program, women also benefit from yoga sessions and breathing exercises. In addition, sessions have been planned for children as well, with volunteers from Al-Quds Open University.

The Observatory in Jenin also set up manual activities, with courses to learn macramé, candle production or sewing. This allows women to exchange with each other, to learn a new activity in group, while having time for themselves

Cinema Reef, also a partner of the Observatory in Jenin, offers photography and cinema classes to young girls. In January 2024 the group participated in several workshops to prepare the script for a movie, which they later shot in the city center.

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