Who we are

 

The Institute of Women’s Studies at Birzeit University

Founded in 1994 the Women’s Studies Institute (WSI) at Birzeit University is among the first academic centers for the study of gender founded in the Middle East region as a whole. Evolving from a long history of Palestinian women’s activism, the Institute provides an academic underpinning to activism and debates around women’s rights, gender relations and social policy in the local and regional context.  Through its wide-ranging research projects, inter-disciplinary academic programs and long-term engagement in community and policy level outreach, the Institute has become recognized as an established center for scholarship on gender that bridges between local needs, regional concerns and global debates.

The Institute is the recognized leader in terms of its academic programs; founding the first-degree program in gender studies (the MA in Gender and Development) in the MENA region and as of 2014 is delivering the first undergraduate minor in women’s studies in the region.  Through both teaching and research programs it has built sustainable competencies in gender aware research across a variety of disciplines, as well as produced a critical body of scholarly and policy research covering the diverse dimensions of gender relations in the Palestinian context. Simultaneously, the Institute continues to play an active role as part of initiatives within Palestinian civil society, in struggles for gender and social equity, as well as national rights.

 

Dr. Lena Meari, participates in a conference

Dr. Lena Meari, participates in a conference organized by VIDC entitled "Unheard of? Women's movements in the Arab world" in Vienna
October 15, 2018
Dr. Lena Meari, the director of the Institute of Women's Studies, faculty member of both of the Institute of Women's Studies & Social and Behavioral Science Department, participates in a conference organized by Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VIDC) entitled "Unheard of? Women's movements in the Arab world", on October 15, 2018 in Vienna.
A link to her paper:
https://youtu.be/BghfNgFT2cw

The Institute of Women's Studies concludes a training course on gender-based violence

The Institute of Women's Studies concludes a training course on gender-based violence
November 27, 2018

 

The Institute of Women's Studies at Birzeit University concluded, on  November 27, 2018, the third phase of a training course on gender-based violence (GBV) that was implemented within the framework of the “Women’s Empowerment and Local Development Programme” (WELOD 3), in partnership with the Italian Development Cooperation and the Ministry of Social Development. The course was held between April 11, 2018, and June 25, 2018, with 40 training hours.
The graduation ceremony was held in the presence of the director of the Institute of Women's Studies, Dr. Lena Meari; Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Social Development, Mr. Daoud Aldeek; Head of the Gender Unit at the Ministry of Social Development, Ms. Saeda Atrash; and Head of Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Unit at the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, Ms. Guia Faglia.
The framework of the course was based on a theoretical approach that considered the complex reality of violence in the Palestinian colonial context, which analyses the dynamics of violence in a comprehensive manner that takes into consideration the intersections of the political, economic, and social violence faced by Palestinian society. The course focused on the importance of women’s collective empowerment while dealing with women as agents and the importance of engaging women’s power and reinforcing their support networks to cope with the conditions of their lives.
In its third phase, the training course aimed to increase the capabilities of the social workers at the Ministry of Social Development to respond to cases of Palestinian women facing GBV and introduce trainees to counseling skills in both personal and group interventions.  The training also raised awareness regarding the causes and consequences of GBV. The trainees were introduced to the concept of sexual trauma among Palestinian women and skills for conducting competent suicide assessment and intervention. The training course provided participants with an understanding of the concept of “professional burnout” and with some techniques for dealing with its social and psychological consequences.
The training team included Dr. Said Shehadeh, faculty member in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Ms. Fardous Salameh, faculty member in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences.