21 January, 2013 Donors No comments

SVF gratefully acknowledges the financial support obtained for its work from a range of organizations since 2003:

  • Human Rights & International Humanitarian Law Secretariat
  • Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development
  • Canada Fund for Local Initiatives
  • Care International
  • European Commission
  • Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation
  • Henrich Boell Foundation
  • Jerusalem Fund for Education and Development
  • MBI Al Jaber Foundation
  • Medical Aid For Palestinians MAP-UK
  • Middle East Partnership Initiative
  • National Endoment for Democracy
  • Non-governemental Orgenizations Developement Center – NDC
  • OPEC Fund for International Development
  • Representative Office of NORWAY to the Palestinian Authority
  • TIRI Making Integrity Work
  • UN-Habitat Urban Youth Fund
  • Westminster Foundation for Democracy
  • Women’s World Day for Prayer

SVF launches a Gaza conference Women Political and Social Participation

20 December, 2012 Conferences, News No comments

SVF launched on December 20,2012, aconference on women political and social participation in partnership withGazaUniversityand Center for NGOs development inGaza.

SVF’s Executive Director, Awni Alhaj, opened up the conference by welcoming more than 250 local participants including local residents, NGOs representatives and dozens of women.

First work paper of the conference was delivered by Majeda Albelbeisi, a local media figure. Albelbeisi titled her paper, sociopolitical reality of women and it’s impact on social and political participation of women.

Albelbeisi maintained that women have the right to involve in political life and even in decision-making but women continue to encounter a number of major obstacles towards that right, including social traditions and customs, which have made little of women compared with men.

She also said that women quota representation in parliament has been less than needed, despite the fact women quota reached about 17 seats by the 2006 elections.

Dr. Bahjat Abu Za’nouna, from his part, spoke of the role of media outlets to promote women political participation, saying that media outlets have considerably raised women awareness regarding political participation.

Reham Auda, a social activist, believed that that women role is that significant and that women should be involved in the development process for the local community, calling for selecting women who are well-educated and capable of engaging in such a development. Development for Reham could include education, health, sanitation and technology.

Mohammad Alnajjar, mayor of Maghazi municipality presented his own paper work , which focused on women leaderships within municipal councils , asserting that women should be enlightened towards their own basic rights for women have a great deal of strength points that need to be employed in the right direction. Alnajjar believed that women have maintained a great deal of success throughout their municipal work experiences.

Ibtesam Aza’aneen, a social activist, produced her paper work on experience of women in municipal councils, making clear that women participation in elections has marked a turning point in women political activity, leading women to positions within municipal councils.

She pointed out that women should be further promoted to partake in political life and women capabilities should be developed for the best of genuine women political participation.

Another speaker, Dr. Rami Wshah, said that all international conventions or laws, pertaining to women, have stipulated that women status should be upgraded and that there is a need for applying such laws across the region in order to allow women to smoothly participate in politics.

Participants of the conference recommended that women role should be further promoted in order to create a sort of balance and equality between men and women, something that is more than needed to achieve what they termed social justice. They also called for pushing forward wheel of community development to maintain a state of community-based peace and social security in which women could be an integral part.

SVF launches a Gaza conference Dialogue and Community Peace

30 September, 2012 Conferences, News No comments

SVF organized a conference inGazacity’s Red Crescent society on reach-out and learning for the best of dialogue and community peace on September 30, 2012. SVF invited a number of professional to participate in the conference. The conference was attended by 185 youth and representatives of local NGOs inGaza. SVF organised the conference to review the impact of violence on the stability and peace and the role of 50 CBOs Network to promote peaceful education and non-violence actions. This conference documented by the media and the society voice newspapers.

Representative of the SVF, Awni Alhaj, opened up the conference by welcoming all guests and promoting some community-based peace conceptions that promote tolerance and community-based conciliation. Reham Auda, a social activist, ran the first session of the conference, in which she first said that it is highly recommended that youth should be aware of concepts of community-based peace and social conciliation. She said youth are an integral part of the society and they should be equipped with all needed skills and expertise that serve their community.

Majeda Albelbaisy, a civil society specialist and a journalist, presented a work paper titles “role of media in enhancing culture of community-based peace inside the local Palestinian community”. She believed that local media outlets have not yet played an effective role in raising the awareness of local community towards dialogue and tolerance. She maintained that political rivalry and trade of accusations at the political and media levels have impeded a genuine media role across the community. Albelbaisi called on local media outlets to stay non-biased and help formulate a national media strategy that would assume a fair media role.

Mr. Mohammad Barraka Alnajjar, Mayor for the Maghazi municipality, talked of possible roles by municipal councils inGazaregarding transparency and accountability, especially when it comes to elections and outreach inside the community. He believed that community-based peace are good for all parties concerned, being a common interest. Alnajjar’s paper recommended the following:

-          Promoting the role of preachers of community-based peace and making sure they are protected by law.

-          Expanding community partnership among the various members of the local community as well as fairly distributing powers.

-          Making sure the concepts of religious tolerance promoted.

-          Promoting concepts of social justice and fair distribution of working opportunities.

-          Holding elections on fair basis and periodically by well selecting new local leaderships.

-          Reinforcing concepts of good local governance at all administrative levels

-          Promoting concepts of supremacy of law and social values.

-          Promoting the role of local NGOs and human rights groups.

-          Promoting and reinforcing effective partnership and looking into ways to institutionalize such partnership.

-          Making courts of justice are working properly and within a set of juridical parameters.

-          Promoting the role of observatory bodies, either popular or formal ones.

-          Reinforcing the role of women in a decision-making process, as well as promoting women leaderships for the sake of community-based peace.

Nahed Khalaf, a civil society specialist, ran the second session of the conference and talked of youth as an important category of the local community, considering them to be a great asset in building up the local community side by side with other categories of the community. Khalafd believed that a given society’s development process is measured by youth participation.

Mohsen Abu Ramadan, a leading NGO figure inGazaand head of the Network for NGOs, addressed the participants saying “NGOs have a role to play in promoting and reinforcing dialogue inside the local community. The peaceful speech would help spread concepts of democracy and equality and respect of others”.

Dr. Bahjat Abu Za’nouna, in his paper, addressed the attendees on the role of universities in promoting dialogue and tolerance inside the local community. He made clear that the universities are doing their best to maintain those concepts among youth students, yet he believed that political circumstances are unripe given the spread of political rivalry. As for concepts of tolerance, practiced by the local universities, Abu Za’nouna, explained that democracy is being represented by democratic elections inside the campus in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect among the various student masses.

Again, Mr. Nahed Khalaf, spoke on behalf of Talal Abu Rukba, who apologized for a mourning occasion. Khalaf talked of the importance of youth in promoting community-based peace, as follows:

- Reviving old Palestinian values that are based on tolerance and respect of others, in order to build up a real internal Palestinian relationship.

- Guiding all youth energy towards innovation and creation, in a way to resist the occupation’s policies.

- Raising the new generations both at home and at school on how to embrace concepts of community-based peace.

- Raising the awareness of youth about concepts of community-based peace through holding workshops or seminars.

- Ensure that local media outlets focus on concepts of community-based peace as a main element in seeking Palestinian people’s inalienable rights.

Lawyer Fatma Ashour, concluded the conference by emphasizing on the fact that the Palestinian youth law has been neglected and that there are multiple items of that law that address youth outright. She called for reviving those laws for the best of community-based peace.

The conference came out with a series of recommendations as mentioned above, mainly concentrating efforts by all parties concerned for the sake of ending internal conflicts or disputes and replacing them with a state of political stability. It also suggested that a Palestinian civil society could not be built properly unless concepts of democracy and respect of others are promoted or widespread inside the local community.

SVF Conducted a public session at community-based peace in city of Jenin

3 September, 2012 News, Trainings No comments

SVF held a public session on the spread of community peace in city ofJenin. The meeting was held at the Human Development Society in cooperation with Sawaed Society ofBethlehem, Students Education House Society on September 8, 2012.

Mufti of Jenin city, Sheikh Mohammad Abuelrub, Police Major, Mojahed Rabay’a , head of public relations at the Jenin Police Station and many other local community representatives including right activists, took part in the session.

Coordinator for SVF in Jenin area, Abdelhakim Shebani, inaugurated the seminar by asserting on the concept that holding such event inPalestinein general and in Jenin city in particular is of significance in terms of the need to spread the culture of community-based peace.

Abeer Qasem, coordinator for the community-based peace with the SVF, emphasized on the need for such a project across the entire West Bank, with the aim of reaching all categories of the local community here for the best of community-based peace and a free-of-violence community. Hassan Alkhatib asserted on the need for partnership between the SVF and other local governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as men of local tribal conciliation, for the best of spreading such a culture.

Mufti, Mohammad Abuelrub, addressed saying “Islamic teachings pertaining to non-violence based on reconciliation and tolerance advised by the Islamic religion”. The Sheikh cited a number of Quran verses and Hadith ‘ Prophet Mohammad’s utterance” as well as historical episodes by companions of the prophet, which all instigated Muslims to embrace concepts of non-violence, tolerance and reconciliation. He said that the Palestinian community should embrace such concepts by spreading them inside homes, schools and universities.

Major Mojahed Rabay’a, emphasize on the need for holding such seminars as a reminder to the local community that would break the barrier between locals and police. He said this would help locals connect to the police department directly for the best of disclosing cases of violence or harassment or attack. He also called on locals to spread among themselves such a culture of peace for the protection of the community out of the various forms of violence.

Laila Sobaih, a social activist, emphasized on the need for spreading such a culture among locals especially between members of the same family and she called for setting up plans or strategies that could promote such a culture.

Nsh’at Abu Murad, a social and sports activist, said that there needs to be a real work on spreading culture of community-based peace in cooperation with local concerned bodies including the Mufti and the police and others.

The participants regarded the session as very good and that participation was effective. The participants raised with a number of recommendations that follow:

  • Amending laws pertaining to crimes by imposing certain capital punishment on those involved in impeding culture of community-based peace.
  • Holding seminars and workshops for family members to enhance such a culture at the family level.
  • Focusing on youth in terms of awareness programs for the best of training those youth, especially adolescents, on ways to embrace dialogue and tolerance as a means to solve problems, therefore, the society could be free-of-violence community.
  • Coordinating fully with concerned bodies, either governmental or non-governmental, in terms of spreading the culture of community-based peace far and wide.

Empowerment Women’s Political Participation

29 August, 2012 Radio Shows No comments

SVF’s Empowerment Women Social and Political Participation Program invited Activist Nora Eid to talk in a radio show broadcasted by Alwan local radio station on August 29, 2012. Ms. Eid highlighted significance means of democracy, justice and equality among all members of the local community, asserting that Palestinian women have had a significant role to play in Palestinian struggle for the sake of social justice.

She also pointed out those women involvement in political, social and economic developments including affiliation with political parties has proved productive. Yet, a genuine women political participation remains insufficient, according to Eid. Concerning women roles in NGOs and other labor unions, Eid maintained that women have involved in several comprehensive activities or programs in a way that have enabled women to take an efficient role in real political or social development. “Developmental roles of women have extended to remote areas and reached neglected categories of their communities”, Eid made clear.

She recommended concerned bodies to set up comprehensive developmental plans for the sake of broader women political participation. She also called for replacing traditional negative values with modern concepts of democracy, social justice and equality between women and men alike.

Women Role in Decision Making Process

15 August, 2012 Radio Shows No comments

SVF’s Empowerment Women Social and Political Participation Program invited Dr. Rafiq Al masry, lecturer of Political Sociology, and Mrs. Wejdan Al bayoumi, civil society activist from Palestinian Working Women’s Society, to talk in a live radio show to discuss ‘ Women Role in Decision Making Process ‘, on August 15, 2012.

Al masry confirmed the vital role of the Palestinian women political engagement in the development and of the society. He explained that women political participation requires democratic atmosphere and real effective participation based on equality and social justice between society spectra, including women and men.

Mrs. Bayoumi confirmed that Palestinian women succeeded to occupy high positions at different levels; politically, economically, educationally and socially. Furthermore, they also succeeded through their continuous work and perseverance to achieve the desired objectives. He also discussed the factors that reduced the role of women in the work field; customs, traditions, culture of shame and Personal Status Law as well as fear of failure. On the other side, he also addressed the factors that contributed largely at increasing women’s participation in the community included spreading of education and efficient training and the effective media role in raising their voice all over the world.

In conclusion, both speakers called to promote, stimulate and support women to get their important role in society on social, economic and political levels. They also emphasized on the need to develop a mechanism to increase women participation in the local bodies and activate their role in policy-making process in the local councils.

The Mechanisms of Promoting Women Political Engagement

SVF’s Empowerment Women Social and Political Participation Program invited, Mr. Mohammad Al Khateb, civil society activist, and Mr. Yousef Sa’ed, SVF’s activities coordinator,  to talk in a live radio show on Aug 8th 2012, to discuss ‘ The Mechanisms of Promoting Women Political Engagement ‘.

Al Kahteb focused on the important role of women in the community development Process through empowering their active role in the local councils and municipalities. He mentioned also that although the system of the Palestinian society which restricted woman’s movement, her  role has increased more and more in the political life. It was through her participation in the legislative and municipal councils. He also focused on the great impact of her participating in the local councils at strengthening, empowering and increasing women self-confidence.

In his part, Sa’ed emphasized on the importance of increasing the power of the local governance  in following up the local bodies in all respects. He also invited women to the importance of participating in the local elections in order to develop their political, social and economic role. Furthermore, he also confirmed the need to develop mechanisms to activate women’s participation in the community through local councils. He also addressed the necessity of implementing workshops to raise women’s awareness of the importance of their role in building a positive community.

In conclusion, both speakers focused on the need to empower women role in the Palestinian community through increasing her quota. They also confirmed the need to hold more meetings and workshops to raise women awareness of their important role  in the community progress.

Cultural Heritage and Promotion Women Political Engagement

SVF’s Empowerment Women Social and Political Participation Program invited Mr. Mohsen Abu Ramdan, Head of PNGO, and Mrs. Azhar Abu Sha’ban, Women Studies Society coordinator, to talk in a live radio show on Aug 1st 2012, to discuss ‘ Cultural Heritage and Promotion Women Political Engagement’.

Abu Ramadan confirmed on the important role of socialization in establishing and consolidating good values ​​and concepts of humanity.  He explained that our culture lacks of respecting women rights and give men the power to manage all social-political process.

Abu Shaban explained that Palestinian women need to take prominent role in political and social participation. Women proved themselves in the society and contributed greatly for several years of struggle and liberation. However, she is still need to attain her rights. Women could not get her rights because of marginalization and discrimination policy and participation in decision-making process. She discussed also the crucial role played by NGOs in advocating and raising awareness of marginalized and disadvantaged groups to practice their rights in order to assure active participation and pluralism in society.

Abu Ramadan emphasized on the necessity to promote political concepts of partnership and pluralism to encourage women and men together in decision-making process. He went beyond this saying “there is a desperate need to develop educational values and concepts of democracy, citizenship and partnership within society, culture of  peace, rule of law, respect public freedoms and other opinions and equality through promoting democracy and citizenship concepts.

Abu Sha’ban expressed the importance of the media outlets in influencing society positively and those interested in social issues and public. Media should raise women issues, public and private discussion on laws and regulations that restrict, discriminate and marginalize women engagement in the political and social arena, she said.

Abu Ramadan said that there is general acceptance in some developing societies to engage women’s social and political work in spite of the customs, traditions, values ​​ and prevailing cultural heritage which a positive sign towards changing the negative stereotype towards women.

At the end of the radio show, both speakers called officials and decision-makers to activate the laws and legislations related to women issues in order to enhance their role socially and politically