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A Vision for Palestinian Womens Rights Organizations based on the Global Study on the Implementation of UNSCR 1325
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Date posted: May 08, 2019
By MIFTAH

Gaza The Gender Forum in Local Governance in the Gaza Strip recently completed a number of interventions to expand the scope of the Forums work, in coordination and cooperation with the Womens Affairs Technical Committee (WATC) and MIFTAH. The interventions were funded by GIZ with a mandate from BMZ (Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) as part of the Empowering Women in decisionmaking in the Middle East (LEAD)project. This project is aimed at promoting an enabling inclusive environment for integrating gender in local government policies in order to expand the scope of the Forums work to include a group of rights and womens institutions active in promoting womens political participation in local government in the Gaza Strip.

The Gaza sessions discussed the objectives of the Forum, which revolved around influencing decision-makers in institutions and relevant, including political, parties, to abide by their national commitments according to international charters and so that these institutions and parties take all the necessary measures to guarantee equal participation for women in a safe institutional environment for effective participation based on justice, equality, human rights and no discrimination. Furthermore, the Forums bylaws were presented for later approval in coordination with the member institutions in the West Bank.

In this regard, Director of WATC in Gaza and the coordinating party hosting the Gender Forum in Local Governance, Nadi Abu Nahla said the project, Men and Women towards the institutionalization of gender equality in local governance seeks to push for better and more just services between the sexes by LGUs. It also aims to promote the role of civil society institutions, first and foremost the members of the Gender Forum, in holding LGUs and the Ministry of Local Government accountable for their obligations and responsibilities towards gender integration in their policies and procedures.

Later, a workshop was held to discuss the results of a poll on citizen satisfaction towards LGU services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip from a gender perspective, which were presented in a conference held by MIFTAH in Ramallah in coordination with the Gender Forum in Local Governance. The workshop was aimed at discussing the indicators that gauge the extent of satisfaction of male and female citizens towards LGU services in the West Bank and the Khan Younis district on a gender basis and on how to make available the necessary information to citizens on the authorities and responsibilities of LGUs and the level of community participation in holding these LGUs accountable. The poll results were based on Article 15 of the Local Government Law, No. 1 of 1997 regarding the nine main services (town planning, streets, market regulation, transportation, energy sources, water, sewage and sanitation). These are considered key from the perspective of their impact on bridging the gender gap. The Gaza workshop discussed the poll results, first by presenting the introduction to the report and explanations about the previous studies on gender integration and institutionalization in local government from the perspective of equal participation in decision-making, planning and accountability. This is in addition to the strategic approaches of LGUs and the regulation of their work towards closing the present gender gap. In particular, the Municipal Development and Lending Fund citizens guidebook and the national policies agenda for 2017-2022 were highlighted.

Furthermore, the most significant results and recommendations of the poll and the various municipal issues were presented, and which focused on gender interventions on strategic approaches and complaints. There were several comments and presentations on the poll results, most importantly: conducting a study day that discusses research papers linked to the poll analysis from a gender perspective, with the inclusion of open interventions from the Forum members on ways to close the gender gap through improving services provided by LGUs.

In this regard, MIFTAH coordinator in Gaza, Shadia Al Ghoul said that through this project, MIFTAH carries out a number of interventions on several tracks, the first of which is to highlight the gender gaps in LGU services shown in the opinion poll and to review the implementation and development of the gender charter within LGUs, which was adopted by the Ministry of Local Government in 2015. The organization also prepared a guidebook to support implementation and monitoring of the charter. As for the second track, Al Ghoul said MIFTAH would focus on supporting the Gender Forum in Local Governance in following up on implementation of the conferences recommendations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip through drafting performance indicators, in addition to reviving the Forum in the Gaza Strip and supporting its members in their ability to monitor the indicators and to write reports.

The MIFTAH study on the level of citizen satisfaction towards LGU services in the West Bank and Gaza from a gender perspective was based on Article 15 of the Local Government Law, No. 1 of 1997 regarding the nine main services (town planning, streets, market regulation, transportation, energy sources, water, sewage and sanitation). These are considered key from the perspective of their impact on bridging the gender gap.

MIFTAH and WATC given that the latter is the coordinating party for the Gender Forum in Local Governance continue to implement a number of various interventions, which primarily aim at promoting the role of civil society institutions and members of the Gender Forum in following up on issues related to local government performance in gender integration. This is in accordance with MIFTAHs support in developing executive measures for implementing the gender charter in the work of LGUs, which would promote the development of indicators to be used by administrations and departments in the Ministry of Local Government.

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