Strengthening the role of women in Palestinian justice institutions

Gender equality and women’s empowerment are core objectives for EUPOL COPPS and essential in achieving sustainable development in Palestine. The Mission therefore promotes gender equality in all its actions, both internal and external. A recent example is the Mission’s efforts to assist the Palestinian Bar Association in empowering female Palestinian lawyers.

The promotion of gender equality and the fact that women will continue to play an increasingly important role in the Palestinian justice institutions were driving factors behind a recent study visit for five female lawyers from the Palestinian Bar Association. The visit to Copenhagen, Denmark focused on issues related to the role of female lawyers within the criminal justice system, and the efforts to combat crimes of violence against women.

During the visit, the delegation met with the Danish Bar and Law Society to learn about the experience of female Danish lawyers at the Bar as well as their situation and opportunities. The visit continued to the Copenhagen Police Department, where the Palestinian lawyers were briefed on the investigation of cases of violence against women, protective measures, and prosecution of the perpetrators of such crimes. Furthermore, the delegation visited the Office of the Director of Public Protections and discussed new legislation on rape and psychological violence.

In addition, the delegation visited the Department of Probation and Prisons to hear about conditions for female inmates and the specialized prison for women, currently under construction. Finally the delegation was introduced to “Danner”, a non-governmental social institution that offers assistance and shelter for vulnerable and battered women in Denmark.

The study trip took place between 7 and 10 April 2019.

Top Photo: The Palestinian group visited the “Countess Danner House” in Copenhagen. The house is named after Countess Danner (1815-1874), who was born as Louise Christine Rasmussen, the daughter of a poor, unmarried servant girl. She raised to the status of Countess and married the Danish King Frederik in 1850. The Countess never forgot her roots and remained interested in servants' conditions. She established orphanages and left her fortune to the Danner House “for poor women of the working class".
Bottom Photo 1: The study trip included a visit to the Copenhagen Police Department. From left: The Mission’s Prosecution Expert Andreas Laursen; Palestinian lawyers Suhaila Khleif and Hazar Jafari; Deputy Chief of the Danish Prosecution, Ms Henriette Vincens Norring; Ms Sisse Birkebæk from the Copenhagen Police Department; Mai Atallah from the Palestinian Bar Association; Palestinian Lawyers Eman Salman and Fidaa Sulaiman; and the Mission’s Legal Adviser Mohammad Amarneh.
Bottom Photo 2: During the visit, the delegation met with the Danish Bar and Law Society where they were welcomed by Ms Anne Høgenhaven Simony and Ms Hannah Krog.