The Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC) was established in Jerusalem in 1991 as an independent Palestinian, non-profit, non-governmental organization seeking to contribute to developing a democratic Palestinian society based on principles of equality and social justice between men and women. By forging a feminist vision based on equality and social justice, WCLAC has played a prominent role in addressing gender-based violence in Palestinian society in both private and public spheres.
For nearly two decades, the Centre’s work has bridged the need to address discrimination and violence against women within Palestinian society, and the need to support the national struggle for freedom and independence from Israeli occupation. For WCLAC, both these issues are crucially important, and indeed, related. The protracted military occupation of Palestinian lands limits women’s safety, independence, self-determination and blocks women’s citizenship in a Palestinian nation-state. In addition, national resistance against the occupation can be a factor limiting women’s development as it treats women’s needs as being of secondary importance.