With the support and supervision of the Central Elections Commission CEC, a number of activist organizations in the field of Women’s Rights implemented a set of projects in both the West Bank (WB) and Gaza Strip (GS) in the period between mid-September and November 2022. The activities of those projects aimed at enhancing women’s participation in political life in general.
The center implemented the project “Committing Local Councils to their Electoral Promises regarding Women”. The project targeted elected local council members, women in some selected municipalities in the governorates of Nablus and Tubas, and women and men activists in Civil Society Organizations CSOs.
- Spread the culture of social accountability among different community sectors in general, and women sector in particular.
- Shed the light on the importance of monitoring the commitment of the elected councils to their electoral promises proposed during their electoral campaigns.
Host 2 accountability sessions for a number of elected local councils in the latest local elections, regarding their electoral promises related to women’s rights. Almost 100 citizens of both sexes attended the sessions, 80% were women.
- First session combined the municipalities of Talouza, Northern Aseera, AlBathan, and An-Nasareyeh.
- Second session combined municipalities of Tubas, Aqaba, Tayaseer village council, and AlFarea village council.
- The necessity of raising the awareness of the women’s sector, especially women and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), towards the importance of reviewing electoral promises proposed by competing electoral lists prior to promoting their platforms. More importantly, holding them accountable to those promises as a type of social accountability.
- The necessity of expanding the pool of financial support from the donors to include accountability and community dialogue programs in Palestine. To shed the light on the extent to which the elected lists are committed to their electoral promises as a baseline reference and a measure to judge the performance of those elected lists, especially in rural areas.
- Enable and build the capacities of female council members to claim their right of a more effective role in decision-making, equal to their male peers in the council, including their right to hold key responsibilities in the councils.
- Build a new model for community dialogue and accountability sessions, in a way that allows accountability in specific specializations. Which means that the accountability sessions of a certain matter should target and include all stakeholders of the matter.
- Coordinate with the Ministry of Local Government in an attempt to extract a decision to hold the local councils responsible of cooperating with CSOs to organize community dialogue and accountability sessions with them.
- Work on establishing a “Women Party for Social Accountability” specialized only in accountability over women issues, and build programs for accountability of the local councils, the ministries, official institutions, and the private sector, and all other sectors in which women are involved.
Hewar Foundation started the execution phase of the project “Enabling and Enhancing Women’s Participation” in September 2022. It was launched along with the creation of the “Electronic Portal for Palestinian Women Participation” which was dedicated for women’s affairs, their participation in public life, and their political and electoral participation. The portal was created in the benefit of all citizens, especially women and men working in the women’s sector, researchers and CSOs.
Project main activities:
- Completing the technical development of the website (electronic portal).
- Hiring admins for the website.
- Providing technical training for the admins and supervisors working on the website.
- Consider the website an important reference for researchers and regional and local organizations and institutes working in the field of supporting women’s participation, hence the importance of supporting the continuity and development of the website.
- Create new links to cooperate with international and regional organizations to become partners in the success and development of the website.
- Increase the number of admins working on the website, especially with the increasing amount of data, which requires additional physical support to manage.
Zakher Association implemented the project “Enhancing Palestinian Women’s Role and Representation in Decision-Making Positions” in Gaza Strip (GS), targeting women lawyers, legal workers, feminists, leaders, university graduates and feminist activists and women in the local community.
- Analyzing Palestinian women’s political reality and the reasons for their poor representation in decision-making positions.
- Raising women’s awareness about their societal and political rights.
- Supporting women’s participation in the media.
Project activities and outcomes:
- Holding a 2-day training course about the political reality of Palestinian women, with the participation of 20 women.
- Holding 5 awareness workshops with the participation of 115 women.
- Holding 4 legal awareness workshops in which participated 70 women.
- Organizing a discussion session with officials from CEC and community leaders, attended by 30 participants, 16 of whom were women.
- Painting 2 murals about women’s rights.
- Launching a funded social media campaign introducing the importance of having a parliamentary representation for women and a social political role.
- Broadcasting a radio episode shedding the light on women’s role in social and political participation.
- Increase projects’ activities related to supporting women’s participation in elections and political life, especially in the region of eastern Gaza, being a marginalized and inaccessible area.
- Focus more on legal education for women regarding their civil, political, and electoral rights.
- Enable successful women models in order to strengthen their role in the society and generalize this model of women to be an inspiration for others.
- Support the association’s projects related to civil education and awareness for different social groups, especially those targeting women and youth, and support media campaigns implemented within these projects.
The Friends Society established the “Rafia Women Forum (They Can)” in the city of Rafah within the Enhancing and Enabling Women’s Participation Project.
- Raising awareness of Palestinian young women about concepts of political participation and the mechanisms of enhancing women’s political participation including women with disabilities, all the way to a wider participation of women in public life.
- Strengthening the dialogue between women leaderships and young women.
- Presenting distinguished models of successful women in different fields for the young women participating in the forum, especially the women with disabilities.
- Establishing Rafia Women Forum as a women-youth framework working to enhance women’s participation in political life and encourage the participants to implement creative ideas.
Project activities and outcomes:
- A 6-hour one-day training about the concept of political participation, targeting university graduates of women with disabilities, attended by 40 participants.
- An open discussion session between successful women leaders and university graduates, women with disabilities, women activists and leaders, attended by 60 women participants.
- An open dialogue session with the Minister of Women Affairs discussing women’s participation in political life in Palestine. 60 women participants attended the session, including university graduates, women with disabilities, activists and leaders.
- Establishing Rafia Women Forum as a women-youth framework aiming to increase chances of women’s political participation. The forum attracted 60 women of university graduates, leaders, feminists, and women with disabilities.
- Organizing a series of field visits to women organizations, political parties, and leadership personalities in the governorate. 10 women of the administrative committee members of the forum participated in the visits.
- Prepare a Code of Conduct about the participation of people with disabilities, especially women, in elections and political life.
- Provide specialized training courses for women and those with disabilities about leadership and management skills, in GS.
- Create a webpage for the forum.
- Prepare and launch advocacy and lobbying media and public campaigns aiming to enhance women’s participation in elections and political life.
- Ensure the continuation of achieving project objectives by implementing a second phase of the project that includes a wider base of beneficiaries and activities.
Within the Enhancing and Enabling Women’s Participation Project, Jerusalem Center implemented the project “The Women Forum for Localities Members”, with the support and supervision of CEC.
- Facilitate the communication and networking among localities members.
- Study the gaps in the Electoral Law and provide suggestions and modifications for the articles related to women and their rights in elections.
Project activities and outcomes:
- Building regional women networks for local councils’ women members, then creating a central network for women members of local councils in north, middle, and south of West Bank. The network included 220 women members of local councils.
- Holding 5 legal workshops, in which participated 90 women who are members in local councils, and other women who are social activists, lawyers, legal workers, civil society and women organizations representatives.
- Adopt a new “Quota” system that allows for a bigger representation and presence of women.
- Set a new intersecting “Quota” for youth as well, in a way that creates an impact on the quality of youth participation and effectiveness within the councils.
- Endorse laws that support women in the electoral process, in terms of ensuring their effective participation in the campaigns and in selecting the candidates, and set penalties for violators.
- Establish a collaborative and participatory mechanism for women as candidates and as members, by connecting them with the local government and clarifying their roles in an institutionalized way.
- Increase the percentage of women’s participation to 30% at least, to reach a bigger impact on decision-making.
- Ensure, by law, women’s participation in monitoring the electoral process and in general evaluation, and set special inputs for women by women.