12/3/2009

The NSDL in cooperation with Sabaya (young ladies) Al-mawasi in Rafah organized a public meeting on the political and civil participation of the Palestinian woman. The meeting came in the context of the project ” youth: right and responsibility “being implemented by the NSDL in cooperation with Trocaire.

Yunis Abu Lebda, the project coordinator, open the meeting by defining the project and its objectives and the woman role in serving the civil society and the significance of her role in the civil, social and political levels as well as her rights and duties.

On his part, Ahmad Abu Assaker, the executive manager of the NSDL, came across the most important efforts of the NSDL in developing the level of the woman participation, noting that the NSDL had organized plenty of activities and events focusing on problems of the Palestinian family, especially the woman. Abu Assaker exhorted the Palestinian woman to struggle to gain her rights. He added that holding this meeting in such a marginalized area confirms that the NSDL is targeting all layers of society.

On his part, Abdul-Min’em Attahrawi, projects coordinator in the Palestinian Center for Democracy and Resolving Disputes, talked about the concept of the political participation and its role in developing the mechanism of good governance. He said that the political participation entails having a role in decision making and not restricted in voting in elections; it is a keen interest of the citizen of the political decisions and their consequences. He reminded that political participation is guaranteed to woman, for the International Declaration of Human Rights (articles 20, 25) and the International Covenant guarantee the political rights for woman. Altahrawee then came across indicators of the political participation of the Palestinian woman.  Female members of the PLO’s national council are 56 out of  744; the central council 5 out of 124; while the Executive Committee doesn’t contain any woman. In the first round of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC),  28 woman had run for membership, of which 5 had won in front of   83 men out of 672 runners. The present round of the PLC  comprises 13 women. Then he came across statistics of woman participation in the political parties and civil society institutions, in which women have the highest level : 25%.

In the end of the meeting, the participants recommended that:

1-  A lobbying body of woman be formed in Al-Mawasi area in order to demand the establishment of a female secondary school in the area, due to the inexistence of such a school there despite the frequent demands of the inhabitants.

2- Increasing meetings specified to discussing woman issues.

3- Networking among the civil society institutions – woman institutions in particular- in order to promote the reality of the Palestinian woman.