On Sunday 23 April 2017 the ADWAR Association completed its program at the Assawahra Ashargiya Club in east Jerusalem. The Club is made up of the Assawahra tribes and the Almuntar Bedouin communities. The programs included awareness-raising workshops with influential men and activists and meetings to exchange experiences with local political leaders. The programs were carried out among the Bedouin communities of Ramadin, Zuwaydine and Um Al-Khair, Najada/Adkika in the south of the Hebron governorate, and the communities of Assawahra, Al-Jahalin “Abu Nawar” and Al-Muntar in the east of Jerusalem as part of the project called Raising the level of efficient political participation of the Bedouin women among the marginalized Bedouin communities in the local elections in cooperation with the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ) and financed by the German government (BMZ).
The project was implemented in cooperation with the Bedouin local councils, the Protection Committees, the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Maan Network. The program of awareness-raising workshops with influential men and activists targeted the members of the local councils in the Bedouin communities, as well as activists in the Bedouin communities of Ramadin, Zuwaydine and Um Al-Khair Najada/Adkikaand the Bedouin communities of east Jerusalem: Assawahra, Al-Jahalin “Abu Nuwwar” and Al-Muntar.
The program of meetings to exchange experiences with female political leaders in local government targeted Bedouin women in the Bedouin communities of Azzweidin in Yatta, Arramadin in Athahriyeh and the Bedouin communities in the east Jerusalem areas, classified as Area C.
The program of awareness-raising workshops with influential men and activists was aimed at raising the level of awareness among local council members and activists who are supportive of women’s access to decision-making positions in local councils. It also aimed to increase awareness of the importance of Bedouin women’s rights to run for elections, vote and obtain decision-making positions in local councils. In addition, it aims to network and sensitize activists on the importance of women’s participation in political life and cooperation with women for their participation in all community activities.
The program of meetings to exchange experiences with female leaders in local government aimed at encouraging the political participation of Bedouin women by following the example of female leaders and female political and social activists, as well as developing their leadership skills in the political and social areas. It also encouraged women to exercise their right to vote and run for the coming elections and to take up decision-making positions in order to work on the improvement of services responsive to gender needs.
The director general of the ADWAR Association for Social Change, Ms Sahar Youssef Al-Kawasamah, pointed out that the project is in its final phase and that it had obtained tangible results that consisted in the commitment of the local councils to present women to run for the local elections and to impose quotas. It had also contributed to the participation of Bedouin women members of the Bedouin shadow councils in the development of the project for the Bedouin women through the planning and implementation of many social and economic initiatives.
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 Foreign Affairs and International Development 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.