As part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence “Together Against Violence” joint campaign participated by 68 national and international partners in Palestine, a delegation from the European Union led by the Head of Cooperation Gerhard Krause and a delegation from the UNESCO, visited The National Bank’s (TNB) branch in Jerusalem. The Bank’s Chairman Talal Nasereddin and staff welcomed the guests and together announced their partnership calling for immediate elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls.
During the visit, the delegations toured the branch and met with the staff who promoted the messages of the campaign by wearing promotional orange t-shirts with the slogan “Together Against Violence”. Other promotional contents were also displayed on the branch’s screens and ATMs.
Announcing the partnership, TNB chairman, Talal Nasereddin, said: “We are very honoured to partner with the EU and UNESCO in the 16-day campaign to end all forms of gender-based violence, which is in line with TNB’s approaches and vision to empower Palestinian women economically and socially.” Nasereddin also added, “TNB has always been a pioneer in promoting gender equality, through our specialized banking products, our CSR program and through our initiatives with the local community. We have also been one of the highest contributors to gender financial inclusion in Palestine, we are very proud to announce that our female savers form 64% of our client’s base this year.”
Nasereddin praised the efforts done by Mr. President Mahmoud Abbas, for the legislation of the law that allows women to open and manage savings accounts for their children, calling for a revisit for the Palestinian laws from a gender perspective to accommodate and strengthen equality in Palestine and achieve economical and social development.
He also added “The ratios of gender-based violence in Palestine are alarming especially those related to economical violence, and this puts a huge responsibility on banks and financial institutions to contribute towards decreasing this figure by launching awareness campaigns to teach women and girls more about their financial rights. We urge all sectors to combine their efforts to reach to our ultimate goal of “ending all forms of inequality in Palestine” and together we absolutely can.”
From his part Gerhard Krause, EU Head of Cooperation said: "Every year, the EU organises several events, in cooperation with local and international partners, to stand up for women and girls in Palestine and around the globe. This year, we have also joined forces with the National Bank in East Jerusalem to further amplify our message to fight gender-based violence. Gender based violence is a serious challenge that concerns us all. No continent is spared. In Palestine, we are committed to leave no one behind."
On behalf of UNESCO Officer-in-Charge, Head of Office, Mr. Ahmad Junaid Sorosh-Wali, Ms. Majd Beltaji, Gender Equality Programme Specialist said, “While progress on gender equality continues to advance slowly, we are encouraged by signs that the private sector is taking an increasing role in making women’s empowerment a priority. We are proud that more companies have started to address gender-based violence within and outside company walls. This partnership with the National Bank is a great evidence to this progress. We need those partnerships. We also need genuine discussion and dialogue on the role of business in the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as find ways for collective action that involves collaboration among business leaders, engagement with policymakers, and close partnerships with local organizations”. “UNESCO established the first Gender Policy focused Institute (GPI) in Palestine and the Arab region with the mandate to review government’s policies from a gender perspective including reviewing the financial policies and provide concrete policy recommendations to the different stakeholders including the banking sector” Ms. Beltaji Added.
This year’s 16 days joint campaign, Together Against Violence, has three key objectives; to bring into law legislation to safeguard the fundamental human rights of women and girls; to raise awareness of domestic violence and promote a change in behaviour and get better access to services for gender-based violence survivors.
During the first three days of the campaign, it is estimated that around 25,000 TNB clients saw the campaign, following promotion in branches by staff and with the campaign’s slogan, ‘Together Against Violence’ appearing on TNB’s ATM screens, in addition to thousands of other impressions through the social media and the advertising e-banners in Ramallah.