Date : 14 Feb 2021
Participants affirm the need to enhance women’s political participation
Occupied Palestine / Gaza: The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR) organized a dialogue meeting entitled “Promoting the political participation of women”, at the headquarters of the organization in Gaza City on Thursday, 11 February 2021.
A group of leaders of women’s frameworks and bodies participated in the meeting to discuss the role of women in elections and ways to enhance women’s political participation.
The participants recommended the necessity of spreading electoral awareness, enhancing women’s political participation, and promoting positive behavior among citizens towards the initiative to participate effectively in the electoral process, and understanding all its processes with an emphasis on the role of women and the need for their participation in this process.
The participants also stressed the existence of a set of challenges to women’s political participation, calling to increase the quota for women to 30%, reduce the age for candidacy to 21, and pressure to raise the representation of women on the lists, and to enhance the participation of women and youth in a way that contributes to empowering Palestinian society.
The meeting was opened by Mona Nassar from ICSPR, who welcomed the participants in the workshop and emphasized that it comes to enhance the participation of women in decision-making positions, and to educate women about the election process and the importance of registration and nomination for women, in addition to discussing all obstacles that prevent the promotion of women’s political participation.
In his turn, Lawyer Salah Atti “Chairman of ICSPR”, referred to the importance of the participation of women in the ongoing preparations for the electoral process and discussed the provision of political and legal requirements to ensure the conduct of fair and democratic Palestinian elections that achieve the desired goal of them by all components of the Palestinian people, to avoid repeating the experience of the catastrophic division whose disastrous effects and repercussions are still ahead of us.
Atti stressed the need to expand the rate of women’s participation in compliance with the decisions of the Palestinian Central Council, which stipulated that women should be represented by not less than 30%, and that the amendments include ensuring the expansion of youth and reducing the age of candidacy to make it 18 years, similar to all electoral systems in most countries of the world to enhance youth participation, and stipulating a quota for youth, similar to the women’s quota, to ensure the inclusion and participation of the youth, who make up more than 30% of the population in the new system.
Atti also explained the obstacles and challenges that hinder women’s political participation and the importance of overcoming them to ensure the representation of women in decision-making positions, stressing the continuation of ICSPR in carrying out a set of activities, meetings and training on a continuous basis, related to spreading awareness about elections and training youth and women in managing Electoral campaigns and monitoring them, through various programs with different dimensions commensurate with the next phase.
In her turn, the feminist activist Rana Al-Rihawi stressed the need to strengthen the voice of women and strengthen their position in the leadership of the state, indicating that one of the most important political rights for women is the right to vote and the right to nominate, which reveals what countries have achieved in the progress of the democratic experience.
She pointed out that women are able to occupy the highest leadership positions in the state, and they must be supported at all levels and emphasize their role and the importance of their participation in the elections. Women in Palestine are the same as women in other countries if not more, as they have proven their strength and ability to endure over years.
Moreover, she called for the need to support women and their right to political participation, and the importance of promoting the right as a way for them to obtain their rights.