The Palestinian center for development and media Freedoms, MADA, held a conference in Ramallah city, about challenges facing women journalists, which coincided with the International Day for the Defense of Human Rights and the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
The conference was attended by the general director of MADA Center Musa Rimawi, Head of Development Cooperation at the Finnish Representative Office in Ramallah Paula Malan, Deputy Minister of Information Mahmoud Khalifa, from Media Development Center at Birzeit University Nahed Abu Taima, Media Officer in the Women’s Affairs Team Lubna Al-Ashqar, Founding Member of the Regional Coalition for Women Human Rights defender Khittam Al-Saafin, Journalist Nabal Farsakh, Program Director at Women’s Legal Guidance Center Amal Abu Sarro And journalist Rola Malhis, vice charman of MADA Board Sana Arnaki and Razan al-Nimriwho organized the sessions of the conference, and a crowd of journalists, and representatives of many civil and official institutions.
Mr. Rimawi said that the violations against media freedoms continued and expanded, pointing out that last year MADA monitored a total of 383 violations against journalists. The Israeli occupation committed the largest and most dangerous of violations.
In addition to Israeli violations, Palestinian violations increased in the first half of this year as a result of the internal tension in the Palestinian arena caused by the political division, these violations declined in the past f two months because of the reconciliation efforts.
Mr. Rimawi assured the need to work for the development of the legal environment and amending the laws relating to the media, referring to the Electronic Crimes Law and the need to amend it because it constitutes a severe violation of the freedom of press, expression and privacy.
He expressed the Center’s pride in partnership with the Finnish Represent office in Ramallah, and its support of the conference, and offered congratulations to the Finnish people, who celebrating 100 years of his independence.
The head of development cooperation at the Finnish Representative Office in Ramallah, Paula Malan, praised the cooperation with MADA center and the Center’s efforts in defending media freedoms. She expressed her hope that the conference will produce recommendations supporting the rights of journalists and freedom of expression.
She also pointed that women and girls must be empowered to defend their rights and develop their society.
Mrs. Abu Ta’ima said that women human rights defenders face two challenges, the first of which related to the occupation and its violations, as well as facing challenges and violations related to the culture and society.
Mrs. Abu Ta’ima called on to activate and develop a special platforms for women human rights defenders in order to shed light on the internal environment and face challenges and violations, and work to establish local alliance.
Mr.khalifa pointed that there is a huge effort by the Palestinian government to enhance the laws that are related to journalism and also regarding the electronical crime law.
Mrs. Al-Ashqar pointed out the violations against the women who work in the media sector and the prevailing system of legislation, pointing out that many women journalists are exposed to direct and indirect threats during their work by waving complaints to their families.
Mrs. Saa’fin noted that the signing of Palestine to dozens of international treaties and agreements has not been reflected internally, as many practices related to violations of human rights are still recorded despite the signing of these agreements.
Nabil Farsakh her experience during her coverage of events these types of violations she faced from the Israeli occupation forces talked , and pointed out that we cannot separate or distinguish the attacks against women journalists from men journalists.
Journalist Reem Al-omari accused the Ministry of Information of violating her rights, through the letter sent by the ministry to the chairman of Ahla FM Radio, and demanded that she be replaced as the editor of the radio “because the Ministry of the Interior refused her nomination by the radio chairman”.
Mrs. Abu Srour pointed on the role of the Palestinian institutions and human rights defenders to deliver our voices to various international forums and the importance of documentation to achieve this goal and to submit reports and interventions, noting some of the international mechanisms and technical aspects required for that.
Mrs. Rulamalh talked about the media platform that has been launched to defend the rights of Palestinian women journalists and to confront violations against them at various levels, stressing the importance of concerted efforts among different institutions to achieve this.
Several recommendations emerged during the discussions following the two sessions of the conference, especially the importance of providing protection to women journalists,
and giving attention to the psychological effects of violations against them, in addition to the need to expose violations against them in international forums and bodies.
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