The Women’s Health Center, founded in 1995, is a therapeutic, consulting, educational, and sport center, located in Bureij Camp. Managed by a dedicated team of professionals trained in the psychological, social, legal, and reproductive health fields, the WHC embraces a holistic approach to women’s health through the provision of a range of high quality integrated  services and programs. These are designed to help build healthy families, physically, psychologically and socially, and healthy communities, in which women play an active and influential role in building a Palestinian society characterized by gender justice, equality and partnership.

The WHC is open from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, 5 days a week and hosts a fully-equipped health clinic, laboratory facilities, and recreation room. The WHC runs a health clinic with education, preventative and curative health services for women at all stages in the life cycle and ongoing programs in sports and physiotherapy, psychosocial and legal counseling, and community education.

Some 3,500 women made use of WHC services in 2014.

Highlights in 2014

In December, 350 people participated in a conference regarding the impact of “Operation Cast Lead” on health, psychological, economic, culture and legal rights violations. The conference was organized in collaboration with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and Wissal network . Representatives of universities, NGOs, community leaders and youth leaders engaged in the discussions and adopted a series of recommendations.

Our Approach 

The WHC embraces an integrated and holistic approach to women’s health involving both preventative and curative healthcare services along with health education. The basic assumption underlying our approach is that health comes from the harmony of physical, psychological and spiritual well-being. Woman’s health and well-being are not limited to her "reproductive" role as a wife and a mother; rather, WHC engages in the promotion of women’s health throughout the life cycle from childhood through adolescence to menopause and beyond. All WHC activities involve a combination of individual and group consultation, community-based workshops, home-visits and formal training courses.

All WHC services and activities are rooted in our commitment to the following fundamental principles:

  • Quality of care 

Quality of care is assured through our commitment to ensuring that supportive, caring communication, personalized assistance and responsiveness to specific needs of each client, informed choice and consent, respect and confidentiality are the basis of all health provider-client relations. Every WHC health provider draws on appropriate technology and specialized skills in accordance with internationally accepted standards.

  • Continuity of care 

Continuity of care is a WHC priority not only during pregnancy, delivery and post-delivery, but throughout the women’s life cycle. The WHC approach further seeks an alternative to the pathogenic medical model in which the health worker exercises power over patients and overlooks the environmental, behavioural and emotional aspects of health. By contrast, WHC’s commitment to continuity of care involves recognising each person’s right to know and decide about their health and health care, remaining responsive to the multi-dimensional nature of health and the specific needs of individual clients, and ensuring ongoing development of our services based on what we learn through our own practice as well as advancements in the health practices more generally.

  • Service integration 

WHC strives to integrate service provision not only amongst in-house specialists and service providers but with external service providers. Over the years, the WHC has established effective linkages with a wide range of institutions engaged in health policy and service provision including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Social Affairs, UN agencies and local and international non-governmental organisations and hospitals.

  • Community participation and empowerment

The WHCs’ services are characterized by a proactive approach. WHCs staff is mobile across the target areas, to ensure the involvement of the population and facilitate their participation, adapting visit and meetings to women’s needs and schedule.

WHC services and programs are rooted in the communities it serves. WHC has developed a participatory approach to health involving the CFTA and the WHC staff, the Red Crescent Society, community leaders, grass-roots organisations and local authorities. This approach has elicited a very positive response from women and men in the refugee camp. Since the creation of the WHC, special attention has been paid to avoid open confrontation with the predominant traditional values of the Palestinian family; instead, WHC emphasizes its commitment women's health and correspondingly, the welfare of the family.

Women's empowerment and the advancement of women’s status is pursued through the provision of both services and practical opportunities; all WHC activities are designed to ensure women’s full access to information, build awareness, knowledge and self-esteem and promote women’s self-determination throughout the life cycle.

  • Gender-responsiveness

The exclusively female team of health providers encourages women to make use of the WHC services. They find it easier to discuss their problems with other women and are generally more comfortable in the women-led, women-friendly environment.

At the same time, CFTA experience has demonstrated the critical importance of involving men from the community in WHC activities. Thus, WHC’s community outreach and training focuses on group discussions for adolescents, women and men. Since 2000, each WHC has a socio-psychological male counsellor who organizes outreach activities and workshops for men and boys. Counselling for men and couples is also offered in order to support men’s positive engagement in sexual and reproductive health issues and promote better understanding between couples.

Special efforts have also been made to schedule the Centre’s opening hours and activities according to the needs of the population and staff, recognizing the different needs and preferences of females and males, as well as that of different age groups.

The WHC recognizes GBV as a public health issue and a serious impediment to women’s human rights and women’s RH and rights.