Palestine scored 65.5 points out of 100 in the 2021 Regional Index on VAWG. Palestinian women suffer from VAWG in a context of general violence caused by the Israeli occupation. Women do not have the freedom to move within their country, work, travel, and reside in their own homes, since this is only possible through authorisation from Israeli military occupation authorities.
Palestine ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) without reservations to any articles. However, there is still a need to remove the discriminatory articles in the national laws and align them with the international agreements.
Violence against women was defined in the National Strategy to Combat Violence against Women 2011-2019 as “all forms of physical, mental, sexual and verbal violence, social and economic deprivation, threats of such acts, coercion and other deprivations of liberty that are directed against a woman because she is a woman, whether directly or indirectly, inflicting physical, psychological, sexual, mental, social or economic harm or suffering, whether occurring in public or in private life.”
The Ministry of Women's Affairs leads the national efforts to combat VAWG and organises the national awareness-raising campaigns on combating VAWG. Specialised services are provided to women victims of VAWG in 2 State-run shelters. There are cooperation mechanisms between the police and other governmental institutions. The Family Protection Department, which is affiliated to the police, responds to domestic violence cases and coordinates with other institutions within the National Referral System (NRS). The system includes procedures for cooperation between government institutions to deal with cases of VAWG.