Woman Role in Decision-Making Process within Local Councils

SVF’s Empowerment Women Social and Political Participation Program invited Mrs. Hanan Abu Mashayekh, member of Maghazi Municipal Council and Mrs. Rana Hamdan, a member of the Municipal Council of Zahra, to talk in a live radio show at Alwan local radio to discuss ‘ Woman Role in Decision-Making Process within Local Councils ‘ on June 13th, 2012.

Mrs. Abu Mashayekh tackled the importance role of women in political and community participation in decision-making process. She considered their representative in the local councils and parliaments is a positive and effective development towards improving their situation in the community.

Mrs. Hamdan expressed that heavenly religions and international conventions stipulated and ensured women’s rights like the other party, and she has the right to occupy prominent and active positions in the political and social life.

In her turn, Mrs. Abu Mashayekh discussed the most challenges and difficulties facing women participation in parliament, local councils and decision-making process. She indicated that prevailing of dominant cultural heritage, customs and traditions in the community contributed to decreasing of women active participation in community and decision making process. She added that poor women’s staff besides the negative stereotyping of women which rejects all forms of women integration in the community also affected negatively their situation in the community.

However, Mrs. Hamdan confirmed that women succeeded to overcome such challenges and achieve progress at increasing their political and social involvement. In this sense, she maintained that CSOs, CBOs and women organizations networks influenced largely and effectively women engagement in decision making, local councils and parliaments.

In conclusion, both speakers called decision makers and officials on the need to ensure women’s rights and their fundamental, political freedoms and dissemination and promotion the concept of partnership and equality across community.

Public Meeting: the role of media tools in promoting community-based peace

SVF’s Youth Program for Dialogue, Tolerance and Reconciliation organized a public meeting to discuss the role of media tools in promoting community-based peace, in coordination with Al Tawasol Society for Development in Khanyounis. Mr. Jehad Ahmed facilitated the meeting and discussed the effective role of media in influencing the communities. He said that media succeeded to affect the Arab history through the later events of Arab spring revolutions.

He also indicated that the concept tof community-based peace maintains safety for all people living on the ground, and avoid the using of means of torture, killings and displacement. He maintained the positive effect of implementing such concepts on Arab communities especially the Palestinian society. He also pointed out the role of different media outlets, especially social networks and electronic websites, to promote a culture of community-based peace and empowering communities to rebuild the social union.

On the other side, he emphasized on the necessity of formulating information materials to strengthen tolerance and culture of peace. He added: ‘ this will contribute largely to facilitate the implementation the national reconciliation.

In conclusion, the participants demanded CSOs to organize more awareness seminars and meetings to increase community awareness of culture of tolerance, dialogue and accepting.

Community Meeting: Promotion Woman’s Political Engagement

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. He also called all CSOs, NGOs and media to work together to promote women political participation.

Delegation from SVF visited Al Maghazi Association for Community Development

15 May, 2012 Press No comments

Delegation from SVF visited Al Maghazi Association for Community Development

Good Governance and Human Right Program

SVF aims at promoting culture of good governance and democracy by increasing the participation of Palestinian citizens and CSOs in public discourse. By this, SVF seeks to increase the impact of citizens’ groups working for good governance, rule of law, respecting international human rights law. It also contributes to increase oversight of the public and private sectors. SVF believes in the value of associational life and in nurturing strong, independent and democratic Palestinian civil society. SVF’s actions seek to increase participation in public affairs beyond the act of voting by strengthening t role of civil society organisations in the public and political life.

Dialogue, Conflict Transformation and International Cooperation

SVF also aims to promote young engagement in the culture and practices of non-violence, tolerance, respecting human rights, dialogue and internal Palestinian reconciliation to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice. SVF also aims at promoting international cooperation and advance human achievement. SVF also aims at promoting participation of Palestinian youth in local and international programs to acquire various experiences and skills. SVF works to deepen and develop its international network with other cultures and civilizations; as it believes international cooperation contribute to great extent in empowering organizational and social change community development in Palestine.

Empowerment Women Political and Social Participation Program

SVF has designed, implemented and evaluated more than 15 projects aiming to empower women by raising the level of their awareness of in what concerns their legal awareness and rights including social, economic and political situation; raising their organizational and administrative capacities; empowering their leadership and economic initiative. This assists to strengthen communications between civil society operators and network by establishing dialogue and trust between interlocutors and different actors in order to influence the policy-making level, legislations and lawmaking. This is also expected to help multiple contributors to initiate changes in the old laws and to have new ones instead who are more relevant to their needs and particular situations of women.

Humanitarian and Job Creation Program

SVF seeks through this program to satisfy some citizens’ needs by designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating a number of informal educational, community intervention and psychological actions to support the most marginalised, vulnerable groups (children and women) and the poorest people. This program has employed more than 109 university graduates by UNRWA funding from 2006 to 2011. This program provided a sort of job creation opportunities for young graduates to get engaged in serving the marginalised and vulnerable groups as result of ongoing humanitarian problems of Gaza Strip. This program contributes to achieve democratic governance objectives while addressing the humanitarian needs. SVF proposes combining the provision of a basic service with strong DG components, and to implement these initiatives in such a way as to strengthen the grassroots reach of the organizations, positioning them to take a larger role in pushing for democratic reform, adherence to the rule of law, and other DG objectives in the future.

Violence against woman and its impact on familial life

Mr. Ramdan El.Helew, ( from Gaza Center for Psychological Health), focused on the dissemination of violence against woman in the Palestinian community, he talked about the violence concept based on discrimination forms in regards to cultural, societal, economic and political backgrounds.

He pointed to the offenses include domestic violence, rape, incest, child abuse and violent responses to so-called honor crimes, like adultery, that embarrass the clan, family or community, he hinted that the Palestinian community suffer from violence problem pointed to women and girls based on gender.

Mr. El.Helew clarified the factors contributes violence increasing included, poverty, illiteracy level growing, the absence of the religious awareness and human rights toward woman, the negative accumulation of cultural heritage, the community view of woman’s inferiority, the absence of the legal and legislation rights regard to woman and the tumble of the economic conditions. Consequently, those factors contributed largely aggravation of violence inside the family and the whole Palestinian community. Hence, he mentioned the outcomes resulted of violence against woman contribute community’s relationships dissolution.

At the conclusion, the participants recommended to the necessity of providing support, psychological and societal aid and protect for women exposed violence; providing awareness programs through conducting meetings and seminars to empower and strengthen women to face their problems and to make a lobby on decision makers toward modification of the Palestinian Penal law.

Empowerment Women Political and Socio-economic Participation Program

After school program: Weekly Activities

SVF continues After School Program activities for this week in cooperation with the Woman Activity Center – Khanyounis attended by 60 students their age between (12 – 15) years.
The program conducted several workshops daily as follows:

1. Democracy, Good Governance and Rule of Law Corner: several workshops were conducted daily, several activities were applied such as ” rub your mind “, ” child rights and duties “, ” the moral and the law “, ” happened in my life “, ” identified convention concepts: theater sketch, through asking some questions related to law aiming to enhance student awareness of his rights and duties.

2. Parents and sons Dialogue Corner: Several workshops were conducted aimed to reach an understanding and dialogue conditions between parents and sons to enhance the friendly relationship and cooperation inside the family.

3. Educational Support Corner: the children were supported and aided through provided the children with educational support stressed on the difficult subjects and the problems facing them, aimed to improve the student learning and to simplify difficult course in the Palestinian curricula including English, Math and Science subjects.

4. Recreational Corner: the children were activated through practicing entertaining activities such as the hunter man, the teacher said and drawing, aimed to enhance the social relationship among children, the friendship, and the cooperation and promote the free of expression.

· Empowerment Women Political and Socio-economic Participation Program

Workshops:

“Promote women’s steering capacities and democratic civil participation project” Stop Killing women Campaign”

1. SVF held a public meeting in cooperation with “Al.HAyat for Familial progress Association – Khanyounis “on “The Islam and the law view on women killing on social background” on February 18, 2008.

Mr. Mohammad El.Salmy said that due to recent media attention, the problem of “women killings” has come under increasing global scrutiny. In various countries throughout the world, particularly in the Palestinian community, women who bring dishonor to their families because of sexual indiscretions are forced to pay a terrible price at the hands of male family members. Clearly, the prevailing view that devalues and belittles women is derived from socio-cultural factors that are justified by a distorted and erroneous interpretation of religion, especially of Islam.

Unfortunately, the legal safeguards to protect women and men from indiscriminate and unlawful enforcement of presumed Islamic injunctions have been forgotten. Indeed, the legal system and law enforcement agencies including police officers have been implicated in the perpetuation of the problem by their willful lenience towards men who have carried out an assault in the name of “honor” and by their abuse and denigration of women who stand accused.

Mr. El.Salmy called the Muslims to reject this distortion of Islam that is used to violate the most basic Islamic rights of human decency, integrity and justice.

He said that to confront the problem of “women killing on social backgrounds” and other crimes that disproportionately affect women requires a change in attitude that pervades all levels of society where such attacks occur, Muslims leaders can taking an unequivocal stand against behavior that is in direct violation of Islam. In addition, legal reform must occur with the intention to protect the victims and punish the perpetrators, all totally possible within a legitimate Islamic legal framework. Concomitant attention must be paid to meeting basic human needs and solving problems stemming from poverty and illiteracy that are often at the root of disturbing social trends that seek out the most disenfranchised to serve as scapegoats.

2. SVF held a public meeting in cooperation with “Al.Adham Charitable Association – Beit Hanoun “on “The judiciary authority’s role to stop violence against woman” on February 18, 2008, attended by 51 participants of women and graduates.

Mrs. Wafa’ Al.Ashqar, (the lawyer from the Alquods Center – Beit Hanoun provided a definitions for domestic violence, physical domestic violence, psychological family abuse and sexual domestic violence, and the reasons lead to violence dissemination against women included the security tumble, the absence of law and the cultural factors contributes to increasing violence in all its forms. She pointed to the absence of the judiciary role at defending woman rights and issues.

She referred to the problem of violence against woman as one of the urgent issues in the world; special concern is raised by the constant increase in cases of violence against women. The general perception of violence is that it is a private issue. There is a lack of social and legal mechanisms of protection for victims of violence.

Mr. Al.Ashqar called the responsibilities to take serve actions toward providing equal rights and opportunities for persons of both sexes in social, political, economic, cultural, and other aspects of human life and to protect women against discrimination on the basis of sex.

She focused on the need of intensify authority efforts to combat violence against woman, the need to address root causes, protection of victims,, the need to increase the related capacity of police and the judiciary, and the need to raise public awareness.

She recommended that awareness-raising campaigns targeted at women be undertaken to enhance women’s awareness of their rights and to ensure that women can avail themselves of procedures and remedies for violations of their rights.

3. SVF held a public meeting in cooperation with “Sharek Association – Al.Maghzi – Middle Governorate” on “After Women killing…the causes and the consequences” on February 19, 2008, attended by several of women and graduates.

Mrs. Sana’ Tabasha said that violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of the objectives of equality, development and peace. Violence against women both violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. He pointed to the long-standing failure to protect and promote those rights and freedom in the case of violence against women is a matter of concern to all States and should be addressed. The term “violence against women” means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.

Mrs. Bassma Abu Is’aid referred to Violence against women which derives essentially from cultural patterns, in particular the harmful effects of certain traditional or customary practices and all acts of extremism linked to race, sex, language or religion that perpetuate the lower status accorded to women in the family, the workplace, the community and society. Violence against women is exacerbated by social pressures, notably the shame of denouncing certain acts that have been perpetrated against women; women’s lack of access to legal information, aid or protection; the lack of laws that effectively prohibit violence against women; failure to reform existing laws; inadequate efforts on the part of public authorities to promote awareness of and enforce existing laws; and the absence of educational and other means to address the causes and consequences of violence.

At the end, the participants demanded the Government, including community organizations, non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, the public and private sectors to:

- Enact penal, civil, sanctions in domestic legislation to punish and redress the wrongs done to women and girls who are subjected to any form of violence, whether in the home, the workplace, the community or society.

- Work actively to ratify and/or implement international human rights norms and instruments as they relate to violence against women.

- Ensure that women with disabilities have access to information and services in the field of violence against women.

- Support initiatives of women’s organizations and non-governmental organizations all over the world to raise awareness on the issue of violence against women and to contribute to its elimination.

- Develop programs and procedures to educate and raise awareness of acts of violence against women that constitute a crime and a violation of the human rights of women.