With Canadian support, Horizon Center for Political Studies and Media Outreach and al-Marsad al Arabi have held a meeting on 2nd of February to discuss the political role of women in the upcoming elections. The discussion was held with the participation of the Canadian Representative to the PA, Mrs. Robin Wettlaufer.
Several women activists, including Rima Nazal Kittaneh, Taghreed Nasser, Anbara Shalaldeh, Lamis Shuaibi, and Rawan al Shomaly participated in the discussion in addition to the head of Horizon Center Ibrahim Dalalsha and the head of al-Marsad Aref Jaffal.
Mrs. Robin Wettlaufer opened the discussion with a brief presentation highlighting the political role played by women in Canada in various domains including the Canadian parliament, government, and the ministry of foreign affairs. She further advised Palestinian women to stand firm to achieve their rights in full parity and equality.
Mrs. Kittaneh moderated the discussion and presented each of the panelists to give their own experiences and opinions. Rawan Sholami from Bet Sahour specifically spoke of her desire to run and possibly lead the local council in her own hometown. Describing some of the challenges facing women in the Palestinian society, she spoke of the need to” fight” for women’s rights not only in securing quota and nomination in elections, but also to assume leadership roles and positions. Anbara Shalaldeh also spoke of the need to push decision-makers, political parties, and civil society organizations to live up with women assuming leadership positions. On her part, Lamis Shuaibi spoke of the unique experience of women’s representation during the local council elections. She spoke of the tremendous efforts exerted to amend the elections law, which ultimately resulted in securing a minimum of 26% representation of women on elections lists. Taghreed Naser of the women’s technical affairs committees spoke of serious challenges that faced women after being elected to membership in the local councils. Mrs. Kittaneh concluded the session by thanking Mrs. Wettlaufer and all participants for sharing their views and experiences. She also highlighted a number of recommendations inter alia:
1. To address the political factions meeting in Cairo highlighting the importance of listing as many qualified women as possible on their electoral lists.
2. To urge decision-makers, political parties, and civil society organizations to work towards full parity of women’s participation in political leadership roles.
3. To eliminate all forms of discrimination against women’s participation in leading positions by enacting laws that preserve this as a constitutional and legal right.
4. To urge decision-makers to increase the quota of women participation and not to suffice by the minimum 26% secured by law.
5. To work on lowering the age of candidates to the PLC from the minimum of 28 to 21 years.
You can watch the roundtable discussion by clicking on the link below: