Sawa Fighting Prejudice
Sawa, is a Palestinian NGO working to support women and children who have been subjected to all types of violence. It aims at spreading a culture of understanding and gender equality in local society by advising community members in complete confidentiality. It does so through awareness-raising programmes and workshops. The organisation goes a step farther by targeting men who are the instigators of such injustices by turning them to partners and contributors for the cause. Sawa also trains various professionals to deal with victims of sexual violence. Sawa’s most recent project goes under the name: ” Early Marriage… Destroyed Marriage.” Part of it is a campaign made to trigger awareness among male and female students in schools, next to targeting parents and working closely with teachers in schools. The campaign, comprised a set of illustrations by Palestinian artist Husni Radwan, holds preconceived ideas, words and sentences, which usually circulate around early marriage within the community. These series of visuals are designed to shed light on the physical, moral and social effects of early marriage for girls. To extend its reach and increase exposure about the matter, Sawa used social media where it seemed, according to the people at the organistation, that the public interacted positively from day one the campaign was launched on Facebook, via Arab and Palestinian pages. It even raised conflict around the subject, as a heated debate surged and is still going on, proving that much more than a one-hit campaign is needed to change long-established traditions and societal convictions.