The researchers Dina Ismail and Nashwa Rizk discussed a paper entitled the role of women’s guidance committees (Isnad) in supporting local emergency committees Facing the COVID-19 pandemic in the northern governorates of Palestine” during a radio episode at Zaman radio in Gaza Strip.
The radio hosted the director of Pal-Think, Mr Omar Shaban, and the general manager of the Council of Ministers Unit in the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Mr Yousef Ouda to join the discussion. It is worth noting that this comes as apart of Young Gender- Equality Research Chapter’s project which is funded by the Government of Canada.
Mr Omar started by saying that Pal-Think is an independent Palestinian organization working with all Palestinians, working with universities and with 57 civil institutions in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, because it believes in national partnership and in the importance of preserving the Palestinian social fabric.
Then he added that The Palestinian woman has a key role in the Palestinian struggle and in the social, health and educational fields. After that, he emphasised that there were wonderful examples of Palestinian women holding senior positions and receiving international awards in various fields. However, there was not enough recognition in society for women, and sometimes men mislead women without knowing that, and one of the reasons for this, that women’s voice is not heard.
Further, he continued by saying that women cannot have their rights without conviction from the man himself. Thus, educating men is important. Then he stated that this quality project is therefore designed to develop gender research concepts among researchers, and at the end of the project these papers will be published in a booklet to become a reference for the Palestinian library, and workshops will be organized for participants to present their research papers. He also confirmed that this project is a continuing activity for Pal-Think’s believing in sustainability.
In turn, Mr.Yousef Ouda opened his speech by emphasizing the importance of such training programs to raise awareness and reduce Gender-based violence against women
Then he noted that the idea of setting up guidance committees (Isnad) during the Corona pandemic in March has raised the need to integrate women into government committees because of their distinct role since the time being; this has been agreed upon by the Ministry of Local Government.
Mr Ouda reviewed the Committee’s objectives, most importantly: To do women’s work in all villages and cities, to empower them, and to create a women’s leadership capable of changing the stereotyped image of women in society through the training and them.
As for the obstacles, he pointed out that the greatest obstacle was the Israeli occupation, and some municipal councils’ presidents did not accept the idea.
The researcher Mrs Dina Ismail explained that the aim of forming committees is to benefit from the role of women at the local committees level in all regions, with the aim of reinforcing their empowerment in all fields, especially in the recent circumstances of the corona pandemic.
She further noted that one of the most important objectives of Isnad is to create a state of integration between government and civil society institutions, to form a highly trained, qualified and sensitization grass-roots women, to assist the social, economic, political, health and cultural development and to share experiences between generations by giving the opportunity to integrate the younger generation. In addition to promoting volunteerism and initiatives, to form a community incubator for this, to create confidence, to raise awareness and to break the barrier of fear.
In the same context, the researcher Mrs Nashwa Rizk reviewed the work of the committees in the West Bank, including awareness-raising sessions on the impact of virus corona, distribution of sterilization tools, distribution of parcels to the trapped families,
As well as, carrying out different sessions on public education based on resolution 1325 and its settlement in Palestine, on property rights and on the importance of the adoption of the Family Protection Act. Besides, the distribution of winter clothes to persons with disabilities.
The two researchers stated some recommendations, which are generalizing the experience of the committees of guidance in the southern governorates, working on activating the role of women in local emergency committees, building the capacity of young female leaders who are the nucleus of “support”, as well as, the necessity of integrating the disabled as an important segment in society. Additionally, expanding the committees’ work to include new domains and fields. Finally, taking the necessary measures to maintain continuity and Isnad.