The upcoming local elections in Palestine are an excellent opportunity to encourage women to fully participate in them and to be able to play an effective role in society. Thus, Hiwar Center for Youth and Women's Empowerment is conducting a campaign to strengthen the number of women voters and candidates in the local council elections in Beitunia, Kafarnaama and Safa, thanks to training women leaders and lobbying with civil society organizations, decision-makers, the media and the general public.
Through encouraging women to take part in the change by voting or running as candidates, Hiwar aims at changing the stereotyped and negative image that keeps women in their traditional role, notably reproduction, and that bestows all rights and powers on men. Although Palestinian women have actively participated in the fight against the occupation and taking care of the family in the absence of men, their role in the political and economic spheres still lacks of the recognition. Moreover it is worth pointing out that in several regions just one woman has been elected, e.g., the President of Bethlehem City Council.
In order to promote women’s participation in public and political life, the campaign will include trainings of women candidates and awareness-raising activities with the political parties and the civil society organizations to obtain their support for the campaign. Many activities will also be addressed to the media (TV, radio and social media) in order to highlight the importance of women’s participation in local governance among the general public.
So far, a workshop was held on February 25th, 2017 at the Modern University College in Ramallah to discuss about the campaign’s objectives and issues at stake with the students.
This campaign is part of the project CSO WINS « Capacity building in Southern Mediterranean to open policy dialogue and monitoring for women in society » funded by the European Union, in synergy with the action of the Foundation.
The campaign is coordinated by Hiwar in partnership with the Center of Women’s Studies and Policies (CWSP, Bulgaria) as part of a peer-to-peer learning exchange.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.