Quota System and Woman Political Participation

SVF’s Empowerment Women Social and Political Participation Program invited Mrs. Ibtisam Al Za’anin, civil society activist from the General Union of Palestinian Woman, and Mr. Mohammad Al Najar, mayor of Maghazi municipality, to talk in a live radio show to discuss ‘ Quota System and Woman Political Participation’. The program broadcasted by Alwan Radio on July 25th 2012.

Mrs. Za’anin confirmed that women political and social involvement is very crucial to empower their situation in the community at all levels. She also discussed the mechanisms of promoting and increasing their participation in the local councils, parliaments and decision-making positions as well. In this sense, she pointed out that the important need to increase women participation through quota system to ensure their active and prominent participation in the political arena.

In his part, Mr. Al.Najar mentioned that quota system allowed the marginalized and vulnerable communities to participate actively in the councils and parliaments. He also indicated that there is a clear change in the rate of women’s access to decision-making positions after the approval of 20% of women quota.

Mrs. Al Za’anin tackled the causes and the difficulties that forced woman to avoid political participation. She said: ‘there are different factors affected negatively women political engagement involved such as lacking of education and awareness in addition to the discriminatory laws, the economic situation, socialization and the dominant male cultural heritage ‘.

Moreover, Mr Al Najar emphasized that the importance of the media outlets to create and develop basic elements for good human culture among communities and individuals. He said:’ such development has the power to promote the principle of partnership, cooperation and communication as a culture of political and social engagement ‘.

At the end of the meeting, Mr Al Najar and Mrs. Al Za’anin called all the Palestinian political parties to end the political division and unifying efforts toward building and developing a strong nation based on democracy, tolerance and culture of non-violence.

SVF organized a peaceful summer academy In Rafah

20 July, 2012 News No comments

SVF organized a peaceful summer academy for young leaders of the project in Rafah city ofGaza Strip on July 15, 2012. The summer Academy continued for 10 days. The participants had an opportunity to discuss thoroughly certain issues focusing on peace building culture and practices. They also tackled the issues of empowerment the marginalized groups in the Palestinian territories to contribute to community peace and reconciliation process. The activities and outcome of the summer camps documented in the project publications” supplement. SVF invited some leaders and civil society experts to talk to young leaders about their successful stories in community work including obstacles and problems facing peace building.

The Academy divided into several corners and stages to discuss several topics as follows:

    1. Changing behaviours and attitudes from violence to respect peace process and non-violence;
    2. Non-violence, dialogue and peaceful actions impact on the society;
    3. Impact of negative violence on the progress human rights development and good governance inPalestine.
    4. Role of different sectors of society in curbing violence and empowering human rights practices.
    5. Respecting human rights, decision making process and development;
    6. NGOs role in promoting culture of conflict resolution and peace-building;
    7. The impact of customs and traditions on peace-building. Remove Misperception and Stereotyping
    8. Peace and Religion
    9. Ethics of politics and diplomacy in making peace
    10. Encouraging Reconciliation and Tolerance
    11. Peace and development
    12. Impact of peaceful Coalition on tolerance
    13. Promote Culture of non-violence
    14. Gender and Peace
    15. IT and Peace
    16. Peaceful Advocacy and Campaign
    17. The role of Religion in making peace
    18. Civil Society role in making peace
    19. Higher education role in making peace

 

The participants expressed their happiness and enjoyment to spend a great time in the summer academy. They founded a peaceful place to express their views and shared their ideas with activators, colleagues and friends. They appreciated the efforts of SVF in organising the event. They called the SVF to organise more summer events in the future.

 

The summer academy came out with a number of recommendations that follow:

  • Organising annual summer camps for youth on tolerance and dialogue.

 

  • Encouraging youth to use the social media networks more effectively and positively to promote peace and reconciliation.

 

  • Developing and improve community campaigns to educate youth and women on peace building and development.

 

  • Promoting media campaigns to discuss the obstacles facing community peace building.

 

  • Enhancing dialogue among youth from different segments.

 

  • Developing coordination and network among different organisations, CBOs, governments, political parties and groups to increase culture of non-violence and peace

 

  • Improving the relationship between youth and the different local organisations

 

  • Organising more well-planned activities to tackle the problem of the Palestinian division.

 

  • Increasing the media production that promotes dialogue and tolerance.

 

  • Reforming laws to improve culture of community-based peace.

 

  • Organising community actions to enhance the culture of family’s members in peace building and reconciliation level.

 

  • Empowerment women political and social participation to get engaged actively and positively in the peace building and reconciliation process.

 

Obstacles and Challenges Facing Women Political Participation

SVF’s Empowerment Women Social and Political Participation Program invited the media activist Mrs. Majeda Belbeisi, and the civil society activist Mrs. Youser Atrash to talk in a live radio show on Alwan Radio to discuss ‘ Obstacles and Challenges Facing Women Political Participation ‘. The program broadcasted by Alwan Radio on July 18th 2012. Mrs. Belbeisi discussed the importance of women political and social participation. Mrs. Belbeisi considered that this legal right is one of the most important rights which can be achieved through equality, social justice and effective women participation in cooperation with the other parties as well.

In her part, Mrs. Atrash confirmed that the women movement plays a major role in strengthening and activating women political and social arena; however, there are some obstacles and difficulties that hinder woman participation to different political and decision making process.

Mrs.  Balbisi indicated that the complementary role between men and women in political and social life is very important to promote women participation. She said women need to be supported in their rights to occupy effective position in the decision-making process.

Mrs. Atrash mentioned that women’s quota was an effective and real step towards women political participation through councils, parliaments and various decision-making positions.

In conclusion, Mrs Atrash and Mrs  Balbisi recommended to promote women political engagement and to develop the concept of social justice and equality in the society. They also called all the officials, decision makers and women to work together to amend legislative laws supporting women political rights.

Women Political Situation and Challenges

SVF’s Empowerment Women Social and Political Participation Program invited Ms. HananAbu Mashayekh, member ofMaghzaiMunicipality, and Mrs. Mariam Abu Dakkah, chairman of Women Community Studies, to talk in a live radio show to discuss ‘Women Political Participation Situation and Challenges ‘. The program broadcasted by Alwan Radio on July 11, 2012. Mrs.Abu Dakka tackled the key role of women political and social participation in improving the society. However, she also discussed some challenges hindering this progress inPalestine. She considers the negative influence of social and political division as one of these challenges that have already increased violence phenomena and decreased Palestinian unity.

In her part, Mrs. Abu Mashayekh confirmed on the importance of implementing political and social rights of women according to international conventions and basic laws. In this sense, she said: ‘ we are individuals and citizens in this community, we have to work together to develop and activate strategies and programs to increase women awareness of political and social rights in order to promote their community engagement at all levels’.

Mrs. Abu Dakkah emphasized also on the great role played by women institutions in developing programs and making every efforts to strengthen women’s participation politically and socially. She also commented:  ‘ the political and social division affected negatively the work of these institutions to advocate and defend women political rights ‘. However, she indicated that women institutions succeeded to overcome such obstacles and achieve progress in developing women political engagement.

Mrs. Abu Mashaekh pointed out that the Palestinian woman facing many difficulties and obstacles that have already restricted their participation in the political arena. These included lacking of trained and skilled women. However, women have contributed, fought and sacrificed so much for the liberation process and positive change to occupy political and decision-making positions.

In the end of the radio show, both speakers called to activate and promote women’s political participation and equality.

SVF organized training courses to enhance women’s political participation

Gaza – SVF’s Empowerment Women Social and Political Participation Program accomplished four training courses entitled ‘ Empowerment  political and social participation of Palestinian women ‘  in cooperation  with Women Programs Centers of Nusseirat, Khan Yunis, Rafah and Beach Camp. The  training courses targeted 130 active women graduates and volunteers. The training courses are funded by the NGOs Development Center – NDC. The courses discussed and analysed a number of themes to empower women social and political participation. These topics discussed social and political reality and reflection on women in the international conventions and Palestinian laws. They highlighted also the experience of women’s leadership in the election of local councils, the role of media in strengthening and activating women  political participation as well as management and implementation of advocacy campaigns to strengthen women role in the political process.
Mrs. Fidaa’ Ghanem, program manager, said that these courses aimed to enhance political participation of Palestinian women . She continued: ‘ this kind of participation contribute to achieve a genuine partnership in policy-making process’ . In this sense, she confirmed on the fact that young women play a crucial role in society and have enough capacities and energies to affect decision-making process.
Mrs. Ghanem also emphasized  that these courses are parts of other community activities aiming to increase women engagement in the political and democratic process. These activities are public meetings,  producing  a number of  publications and newsletters, and radio shows discussing urgent political issues with decision makers and community leaders.

A number of highly qualified coaches whose professional experience in the field of training and community work supervised and conducted the training sessions.

Women Enhancement Role of Political Participation

SVF’s Empowerment Women Social and Political Participation Program invited Ms. Wesam Jouda, civil society activist fromWomenAffairesCenter, and Mrs. So’ad Shawaf, member of the General Union of Palestinian Women, to talk in a live radio show to discuss ‘ Women Enhancement Role of Political Participation ‘. The program broadcasted by Alwan Radio on July 7th, 2012. Mrs. Jouda mentioned that Palestinian women played an active and vocal role in Palestinian political life for generations. While most women political leaders have certainly not been well-known as men leader, women have played numerous roles in the Palestinian political system, and occupied key decision-making positions. She continued much more needs to be done to encourage women political participation.

She said: no one denies women contributions and their quest for positive change and community liberation process. According to Shwaf, women succeeded to reach parliaments, local councils and decision-making positions. They succeeded to occupy high positions in the political arena strongly and effectively.

Mrs. Shwaf also indicated that women organizations play a key role in promoting women situation at different levels. She confirmed that they are still seeking to activate and develop women’s political participation through launching initiatives and activities to promote and reinforce their real political participation. She discussed that political support is extremely important in the Palestinian territories because the gains will not be significant without the support of official leadership and community to women’s causes.

In conclusion, both speakers demanded officials and decision-makers to activate the laws and conventions that increase and develop women political participation. They called to end the socio-political division as one of the most obstacles and challenges facing positive development and political participation.

SVF Organised Community-based peace, Tolerance and Dialogue Training in Jenin

SVF completed a training course on promotion community-based peace, tolerance and dialogue in Jenin. The course lasted for four days (30 hours) and targeted 32 young leaders. This training is funded by EC. The training conducted in cooperation with Human Community. A number of the civil and governmental institutions in Jenin governorate participated in the opening session.

Mr. Abed Al Hakim, director for Human Community Association appreciated the great role of Society Voice Foundation in spreading culture of community peace. He also confirmed the vital role of disseminating community peace to increase cohesion and constructive understanding within community.Mr. Loa’y Oka and Hassan Kateeb delivered training to promote peaceful concepts of civil peace and their impact on Palestinian society. Mr. Oka tackled different types of advocacy and lobby campaigns to promote and disseminate the culture of community- based peace in the Palestinian society.Mrs. Abeer Qasim, SVF’s coordinator confirmed the significant active role of NGOs and CSOs in promoting and increasing culture of community and social peace. She also maintained the great need of conducting such kind of courses to empower the Palestinian youth in spreading the culture of community-based peace. She added: this training will contribute to resolve internal conflicts peacefully and build democratic society based on non-violence and accepting others.

Mrs. Qasim emphasized that the SVF will organize a number of public awareness meetings and live radio shows in the West Bank to disseminate those peaceful concepts and practices.  She continued: these activities will reach the largest number of participants and beneficiaries in order to mobilize new energies and capacities of young leadership to build democratic civil society free of violence.

 

Palestinian Women’s Political Rights

SVF’s Empowerment Women Social and Political Participation Program invited the lawyer Mrs. Fattmah Ashour and Mrs. Faten Bayoumi, civil society activist from Women Affaires Center, to talk in a live radio show broadcasted by Alwan Radio on June 27 2012. The program raised and discussed ‘ Palestinian Women’s Political Rights’. Mrs. Ashour pointed out the vital role of women political and social participation. She said: international conventions and local legislations guaranteed women political and social rights and supported their engagement in decision-making process.

Mrs. Bayoumi indicated that legal and human rights organizations play a key role in assisting and increasing women’s political engagement. However, there is a necessity to enhance genuine democratic atmosphere to contribute to empowerment women political and social participation. More, there is an urgent need to increase women political participation in decision-making process and political parties. She said this can be achieved through increasing women’s quotas representation in order to take leading roles in the governmental committees.

She tackled also the most difficulties and challenges facing women political participation. She said that there is a gap in the legislative laws and the implementation on the ground. She added that cultural heritage and the negative stereotypes of women have already limited their participation in political process. She said: changing and improving laws are very important, but education and dialogue are becoming much more crucial need to challenge negative traditions and cultures. However, she said women succeeded to achieve high positions in social and cultural levels and she has the right to get engaged in political and public arena as well.

In conclusion, both speakers called decision-makers, officials and those interested to increase efforts to advocate women political rights and empower their participation indecision-making process.

Community Meeting: Promotion Woman’s Political Engagement

28 June, 2012 News No comments

SVF’s Empowerment Women Social and Political Participation Program organized a community meeting to discuss “Woman’s Political Engagement” on June  9th, 2012. 60 women and young leaders attended this meeting from Al Fadila Women Society in Nuseirat.

Mrs. Sanaa’ Hassnat, civil society activist facilitated the debate focusing on women’s key role in political engagement. Mrs. Hasnat discussed the impact of women’s important role in community development Process. She indicated that women’s participation in the political development process will give her enough power to share responsibilities and obligations, which contribute to development of society in various fields. She also discussed the impact of political participation as an important factor of democracy. She pointed out that women’s social and economic liberation will increase her education as a key element of activating her political participation.

She also discussed the impact of women’s organizations in promoting women’s political awareness by implementing  educational, awareness, and cultural programs. There were a number of views raised to by participants in this context.  Mrs. Fatma Abu Khadra, a community volunteer and participant in the debate recommended and called community organizations to improve their actions of empowering women political engagement. These actions will empower women to get  opportunities to express their views without fears or hesitations to advocate their rights and issues aswell.

In this context, Mr. Yousef Sad, a civil society activist from SVF concluded the meeting urging community and women to increase their roles in the political process to achieve freedoms, independence, equality and social justice.

 

Women CSOs Role in Promoting Women Political Engagement

SVF’s Empowerment Women Social and Political Participation Program invited Mrs. HananSiam, civil society activist from Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development, and Mrs. Huda Alian, civil society activist from the Public Union of Palestinian Woman, to talk in a live radio show broadcasted by Alwan Radio on June 20th 2012. The speakers discussed ‘ Women CSOs Role at Promoting Women Political Engagement’.

Mrs.Siamindicated that the Palestinian Women Organizations play significant role to promote the political participation process. She also mentioned that the international conventions ensured that the laws call to end all forms of discrimination against women. The laws ensure to increase their active and effective political and social engagement within community as well. Mrs.Siamdiscussed the difficulties and obstacles that undermine women CSO’s efforts in playing an active role in promoting the political participation process. She said: ‘weakness of Palestinian Civil Society, their hesitation in being pioneers for a change, and their relations with the various political parties are the most factors that affect women political and social engagement’.  She said that negative stereotype of Palestinian women influenced their political participation within society.

Mrs. Alian pointed out that women contribute largely to the political and social work and they have achieved many and varied success at different levels including local councils, parliaments and decision-making positions. She also confirmed that coordination and networking between NGOs and CSOs needs double efforts to overcome difficulties and obstacles facing women political engagement.   She also described the relationship among women CSO’s as non-organized and not as required. In this sense, she also indicated that the implemented programs in this regard aim to enhance the capacity and women in politics.

In conclusion, both speakers agreed that Palestinian NGO’s play a vital role in building a civil society inPalestine. They raised some recommendations to promote the role of Palestinian civil society and women political participation inPalestine.