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Date posted: May 14, 2019
By MIFTAH

Ramallah MIFTAH capped off one day session on May 5 on the developed Gender Charter bylaws as part of its project Men and Women towards institutionalizing gender equality in local governance, funded by GIZ with a mandate from BMZ (Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development). This is part of the Empowering Women in decisionmaking in the Middle East (LEAD)project, aimed at promoting an enabling inclusive environment for integrating gender in local government policies. MIFTAH has been working on updating and developing the Gender Charter, which was adopted by the Ministry of Local Government in 2009-2010, to include bylaws that facilitate the charters implementation process within LGUs.

A total of 28 male and female members of local councils participated in the session from various districts. They were briefed on the bylaws of the gender charter and the discussions surrounding its provisions. This was followed by presentations, comments and recommendations.

Imad Abu Eisheh, member of the Beit Wazan village council in the Nablus district, said he was confident that if the recommended developed bylaws were taken into consideration, they would surely contribute to the implementation of the Gender Charter and would empower women in their respective councils and localities. These bylaws are important for village councils, which are supposed to care for all sectors of society, including youth and other marginalized groups. Whats more, the charters implementation will promote the role of women in their councils and make their work much easier, Abu Eisheh said.

As for Zeinab Atiyeh, member of the Taqou town council in the Bethlehem area, she said that the bylaws and the amendments to the Gender Charter made to their provisions will greatly contribute to implementing the Gender Charter, which will empower women in their town and village councils and also their communities. It will also contribute to promoting the status of women and achieving equality with men. Atiyeh continued, For me, the importance of these bylaws is that they give women equal representation with men, not just the 20% quota. This is a good thing, which will have a positive impact even on the perception of society towards women and their roles.

On her part, MIFTAH project manager Najwa Yaghi said the session was part of MIFTAHs strategic approaches in influencing internal policies to promote participation and social accountability and to support civil society in monitoring the performance of official institutions, in addition to encouraging a progressive dialogue among the relevant parties. This, she said, was within the context of MIFTAHs follow-up of the recommendations made at the GIZ-funded conference in February. Yaghi added that this event was also aimed at expanding the scope of discussion and dialogue on the bylaws proposed by MIFTAH, which were discussed with the member institutions and members of the Gender Forum in Local Governance. She said the bylaws would be discussed at a later stage with the relevant parties in order to produce a final copy that would contribute to updating the Gender Charter so it is more implementable and sensitive to citizens issues in the various communities of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Arabic ...

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