Feminist solidarity with Palestine
The patriarchy is a global system of oppression with different expressions in each region, and in Palestine it is reinforced by the Israeli occupation. The survivors of sexist violence against women are among the most vulnerable sectors of the population.
At Hèlia, we collaborate with Palestinian organisations that promote women’s autonomy and empowerment from a comprehensive point of view and that aim to build a society with all the people who seek a life free of violence. Our Palestinian partners are the Health Work Committees (HWC),Women’s Studies Centre (WSC) and Family Defense Society (FDS).
Through international cooperation projects, we help to improve the living conditions of Palestinian women exposed to sexist violence and create spaces for the exchange of ideas and good practices to face sexist violence against women that crosses our lives through Palestine and Catalonia together.
We support our Palestinian partners amid Israel’s growing criminalisation and delegitimisation of organisations working to defend the human rights of the Palestinian people.
Our two lines of work are:
Health and gender
In Palestine, we work on health and gender issues with thHealth Work Committees (HWC), a leading healthcare organisation in the West Bank. We focus on two main areas: sexual and reproductive health and chronic non-communicable diseases.
We started our first joint project between Hèlia and the HWC in 2015 and focused on ensuring the sexual and reproductive health of Palestinian women and raising awareness among the local population. We have since strengthened this intervention by contributing to the establishment of the Ishraqa im Qalqiliya, Hebron and Tubas. At these centres, the HWC offers specialised services for women and girls through multidisciplinary (medical, psychosocial and legal) teams consisting solely of women.
At the same time, Hèlia and the HWC tare also working to assist the population with chronic non-communicable diseases and to prevent them at the community level. Through this intervention, we guarantee gender-sensitive medical care in the field of chronic diseases, especially those most prevalent among Palestinian women and girls.
Economic empowerment and gender mainstreaming
In Palestine, we are working on women’s empowerment and gender mainstreaming through the Women’s Studies Centre (WSC) and theFamily Defense Society (FDS), two leading feminist organisations in the fight for women’s rights. The three organisations work together in two main areas: job placement for vulnerable women and the support of local authorities in mainstreaming gender in their institutional and political structures.
Hèlia’s first project with the FDS began in 2014. Just a few years later, in 2018, we began to work with theWSC. All three organisations (Hèlia, WSC and FDS) have worked together on two projects where we promote comprehensive assistance for women survivors of sexist violence in the training, employment, psychosocial and legal fields.
During our projects with the FDS, we have supported their shelter for women survivors of sexist violence, one of three operating in the West Bank and the only one in the northern zone. With the FDS we have also facilitated the training and job placement of women survivors of sexist violence without higher education.
Through projects with the WSC, on the other hand, we have facilitated the placement of women with a university degree in the local job market. Since 2020, we have been supporting Nablus City Council in an internal gender audit process