Following the Israeli military Operation Protective Edge in summer 2014, this reports presents the findings of a study initiated by ActionAid and Alianza por la Solidaridad (Alianza) on violence against women (VAW) in the Gaza Strip, defined as ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life’.
This study had two aims: First, to paint a wider picture of violence against women across Gaza after the last Israeli military operation, complementing existing qualitative work on subsets of the population. Second, to draw conclusions about what services could be offered to better protect and support survivors of VAW in Gaza, and what interventions can be planned that tackle attitudes and trigger behavioural changes in order to decrease its incidence and prevalence. A survey with a representative sample of women in the Gaza Strip and qualitative interviews, focus groups and roundtable discussions were carried out to learn more about the types of VAW in public and private spaces in Gaza; incidence and prevalence of VAW in public and private spheres; perception of the nature, causes and consequences of VAW; existing avenues of support to survivors of VAW; and to understand its link to military violence in Gaza.
The fieldwork for this study took place between April and July 2015; 37 social workers spoke to 440 women who responded to a quantitative questionnaire, and 332 women, 130 men, 7 key community informants and 28 members of civil society organizations in focus group discussions, roundtables and individual interviews to help us gain a wider picture about the types, prevalence and frequency of violence that women aged 17 and above experience across the Gaza Strip.