Saturday, 28 May. 2022
Your Key to Palestine
The Palestinian Initiatives for The Promotoion of Global Dialogue and Democracy

Ramallah – 7/12/2021 -- MIFTAH recently conducted field visits to a number of electoral lists running in the 2021 local elections, which are headed by women, including the “Qadirat” list in the town of Burqin, southwest of Jenin, the “Kafa’at for Huwwara’s Tomorrow” list in Huwwara, south of Nablus, the “Amal Mushriq List” in the town of Qira, northeast of Salfeet and the youth list “Farkha for All” in the village of Farkha in the Salfeet area.

The meetings focused on the challenges and difficulties facing women in particular while the lists were being formed, including ways to improve their chances of heading them. They also discussed the difficulties the women faced at the social and factional levels.

MIFTAH’s team, comprised of Executive Director, Dr. Tahreer Araj, Director of Policy Dialogue and Good Governance Program Lamis Shuaibi, Project Manager Hassan Mahareeq and Digital Media Director, Akram Jariri, first met with candidates from the “Qadirat” women’s group of nine candidates.

Candidate Sumoud Hamdan, pointed to many challenges and threats the women faced to coerce them into withdrawing, including threats to their communications director. She was also forced to change her order on the list from 1 to 6, adding that by the end, the list was changed 18 times until it was finalized.

Hamdan maintained, however, that there are many silent voices, which promised to support the list at the ballot boxes regardless of any pressure on them not to vote for “Qadirat”, which means ‘capable women.” The MIFTAH team then met with the “Kafa’at for the future of Huwara”, headed by Mrs. Kheriya Odeh. This list, which is going up against six others, is the only one headed by a woman out of a total of nine lists. Odeh said she insisted on running in the elections nonetheless, commending the support she received from her family and community. This is the second time she runs in local elections, after being a member of the former municipal council.

The “Amal Mushriq” list in Qira, northeast of Salfeet, is headed by the previous council president, Mrs. Aisha Nimr, who insisted on running again, bringing the achievements and projects for the village accomplished during her last term in office. She explains that while her slogan has been to ‘serve the town”, there are still those she considers ‘enemies of success” and who tried to derail some of the projects just to undermine the council’s successes, especially regarding its management of the coronavirus pandemic. Nimr, however, said she was confident in her ability to succeed this time as well in spite of the stiff competition between eight lists in the town.

Meanwhile, Dr. Araj said the visits were part of MIFTAH’s follow up of women cadres, who the organization continues to target for empowerment, expanding opportunities for their presence in the media and in their respective communities and to showcase examples of women leaders in all fields so that other institutions support the political participation of women and strengthen their chances for success.

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