As part of “Empowering Civil Society Role to Achieve Palestinian Elections” project implemented by PalThink for Strategic Studies and funded by the Government of Canada, PalThink started its outreach sessions within a series of activities and events carried out during the project. An intensive training program was carried out earlier focusing on democracy issues, lobbying and advocacy skills targeting a group of university and graduate students who in turn are now involved in the implementation of all project activities including awareness-raising sessions. These sessions aim at raising youth’s awareness about democracy, political and community participation, human rights, women and gender equality.
The first session was carried out in cooperation with the Palestinian Women Studies Association. A group of young project participants young conducted the session entitled “Enhancing Women’s Political Participation Mechanism ” with the attendance of a group of women and civil society activists. Ms. Sally El-Samak, the Project Coordinator, opened the session welcoming the participants and the host association emphasizing the importance of these sessions in primarily strengthening the capacities of the youth on issues of democracy, political participation and human rights.
The session was moderated by the trainees Islam Zagber and Malik Al-Jaru. They mentioned the concept of political participation highlighting the position of women in the Palestinian society and the impact of the historical stages that have been over Palestinian society on women’s political participation. They also reviewed the historical evolution of Palestinian women’s political participation and how this participation has been instrumental in promoting the principles of democracy.
Then, they proceeded talking about the Palestinian women’s participation elements, the obstacles and challenges facing women in political participation, the mechanisms for enhancing women’s political participation and the forms of women’s exercise of their political rights. Therefore, a discussion was held with the audience about the challenges that barriers to women’s participation under the current circumstances and the most important roles that women can play in addressing these challenges and demonstrating their participation in society.
The trainees expressed their pleasure in implementing these sessions considering this to be a great opportunity to move from the recipient role to the educator, especially since this is their first experience in conducting awareness-raising sessions.
In addition to these awareness-raising sessions, the project’s activities include a series of radio broadcasts, lobbying and advocacy campaigns, as well as accountability sessions and debates that is a way to help a generation of young people who believe in democracy and human rights issues in society and play a role in promoting it.
The designations employed and the representation of material in these meetings do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Government of Canada.”