At the beginning of the episode, that carried out by Pal-Think for Strategic Studies and FXB France, in the ” The Palestinian Consortium for Non-violence: towards a regional movement on Non-violence ” project, the journalist and social media consultant Sultan Nasser spoke about the high level of violence in the discourse and language, which is used in social media platforms, especially because of their continuous being in the quarantine due to COVID-19 paramedic. Which raises the pressure upon them, since they have no space to release it except via social media platforms, explaining that the most violent form was bullying women in general and unfortunately some activists and supporters practised it without being aware of them.
He added that violence against women and bullying them is not a new topic, but it is renewed whenever their rights are violated or whenever a girl acts against traditions and decided to practice her rights which are guaranteed by law, or tried to change her reality by challenging the bad economic circumstances in Gaza Strip. However, there is a noticeable development in the awareness of the Social Media users recently, as we found them in more than one case concerning women’s issues, commenting on women’s rights and providing support to them in many different cases. This effort is calculated for institutions and people who, over the last years, have raised community awareness across all the spaces available to them.
While the views of the Palestinian street in Gaza City are divided between those who find that the language used on social media platforms is still generally violent and even more violent when the issues of women and vulnerable groups are discussed in society. Some attributed this to the lack of awareness among users, some justified verbal violence and bullying to the bad conditions of the citizen, others believed that the language used became less violent in response to the efforts exerted by the competent authorities to pump up awareness and raise the educational level of the people. These views were broadcast in a survey by the team of the ” Non-violence as a lifestyle ” program.
The episode’s guest the project coordinator in Basma Organization for Culture and Arts, Ms Rania Al-Sharihi, sheds lights on the cooperation between Basma,Pal-Think and FXB France, on carrying out the initiative which is entitled “Idaat”, which focuses on gender-based violence practices intending to raise community awareness and sensitivity to these practices. The initiative was a digital campaign to reach the largest number of targets, which continued for 15 days from the publication of interviews by specialists, awareness-pointing and messages on gender-based violence.
Al-Sharihi pointed out that the initiative’s implementation officials focused on circulating and highlighting the positive image and moving away from negative stereotypes such as publishing images of women or girls who are forced to marry and replacing them with bright images and good models that we want to reinforce and see as societal behaviour that supports the hashtag that we then published (participation is life). Besides, she noted that most of the interviews were with legal personalities with different majors such as journalists, lawyers, feminist activists and so on, in order to make it more effective.