Palestinian women are underrepresented in local councils although the Palestinian law on local elections stresses that women’s representations in local councils should not be less than 20%. Therefore, Hiwar Center for Youth and Women’s Empowerment took in charge the mission of spreading awareness among the population of three towns of Beitunia, Kafarnaama and Dear Ibzia regarding the importance of women’s effective participation in local politics through a campaign entitled "Elections are you and I, not you without me".
The campaign’s objective was to increase women’s representation in local councils (both as voters and candidates), as well as to promote the recognition of women’s contributions to society, and to change the stereotyped image of women which limits them to traditional roles and regressive roles.
To this end, Hiwar coordinated several meetings between local council members and female leaders, mainly young women, to encourage them to run for elections. Besides this, Hiwar trained 18 female candidates from marginalized areas, to prepare them for running for the next local elections, and linked them to successful female political figures who are considered as role models. Additionally, Hiwar facilitated the networking between the female candidates and the mayors of the three targeted towns.
On the other hand, Hiwar participated and presented 4 talk shows that were aired on Maan TV in order to highlight the struggle and the success story of 5 female Palestinian political figure, 2 female journalists and 3 young female candidates.
Additionally, Hiwar organized various sessions targeting high school and university students in order to stress and emphasize the importance of women’s participation in local elections.
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 Euro-Mediterranean Women’s Foundation.
The campaign was 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 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.