Tuesday, 27 September. 2022
Your Key to Palestine
The Palestinian Initiatives for The Promotoion of Global Dialogue and Democracy

Ramallah – 3/5/2022 – MIFTAH recently capped off several training sessions aimed at empowering women and youth candidates for local council elections to increase their presence and participation in election campaigns.

The training sessions were held in several West Bank districts and for groups of women and youth in the Gaza Strip, even though the current round of local elections does not include Gaza. The goal of their inclusion was to equip them with the necessary information and tools to prepare them for the election process should they be held in the Gaza Strip.

Hanan Said, officer within MIFTAH’s empowerment and capacity-building unit, said the trainings are part of MIFTAH’s strategic interventions in promoting democratic values among women and youth activists and developing their leadership skills and capabilities. This, she maintained, was aimed at increasing their involvement in the election process and ultimately reaching decision-making positions in local councils by equipping them with ways to impact public policies and achieve more visibility and representation.

The training included an intensive program to provide necessary information on election laws and regulations for the electoral process, focusing on the tools and mechanisms needed to impact electoral programs and promote the presence of women and youth candidates in campaigns. They also gave participants the necessary skills for connecting with voters in local communities.

Impressions of women and youth candidates

In their assessment of the training and benefits gained, Wafa’ Karaki, a candidate running in the Hebron municipal elections, said the training gave her new and helpful information and skills for her campaign, regarding the candidacy process, the distribution and number of seats and how to ensure political participation. “I had the opportunity to meet and interact with several candidates from competing lists,” Karaki said “I was very interested to learn others’ opinions, especially the men, and to discuss the importance of women’s real and active participation where they are not just numbers.”

Samah Fatayer, another participant and candidate in the Jericho municipal elections, said this was her first time running in elections. “I became very interested in the election process and how to manage campaigns; the training added to my knowledge on certain concepts such as democracy, fact-finding, information-gathering and active participation in closed meetings. It also helped me to express my opinions and suggestions and gave me tools I did not have before”.

Meanwhile, Masa Ayyad, a candidate running in the Nablus local council elections, said the training was a ‘quantum leap” for her. “I never had enough information about elections or how to run a campaign, but this training provided me with knowledge and expertise and allowed me to meet other candidates from different cities. It also gave me the opportunity to learn about MIFTAH and the support it offers to women and youth.” Ayyad continued, “It is impossible for anyone to participate in these trainings without them learning so much more than before.”

Trainor Wisal Shalaldeh stressed on importance of the trainings’ focal points, saying they were especially significant since the targeted sector did not have enough information about the different stages of the process. “The impact on the participants was very clear once the training was finished; they showed the ability to manage election campaigns and formulate and implement their own programs.”

MIFTAH continues to support women and youth running in any future elections, in order to broaden their chances of involvement in the election process and reach decision-making positions fully prepared and qualified. Ultimately, the goal is to create desired changes that promote and lay the ground for laws, legislation and policies based on civic values and the principles of good governance.

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972-2-298 9490/1
972-2-298 9492

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