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

Ramallah – 31/3/2022 – MIFTAH recently completed workshops in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, on a guidebook about UN mechanisms pertaining to the Women, Peace and Security Agenda (WPS). The workshops included member institutions of the Women’s Coalition for Implementing UNSCR1325, grassroots organizations and rights and community activists in the West Bank and Gaza. MIFTAH’s objective for developing the guidebook is to support and enable Palestinian women and women’s and rights organizations to utilize UN mechanisms as part of their efforts in international advocacy and visibility on global platforms in sharing information on the status of Palestinian women under Israeli military occupation. The workshops are part of efforts to enact UNSCR1325, subsequent resolutions and General Recommendations 30, 32 and 35 of the CEDAW follow-up committee.

The trainings revolved around the focal points of the guidebook in the Palestinian context, international humanitarian law and relevant international agreements. They also discussed the structure of the UN and explained about the Security Council, General Assembly and Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). In addition, they briefed participants on contractual and non-contractual mechanisms and the Human Rights Council.

The trainings also explained how the guidebook could help in holding the occupation accountable through showcasing the main work and roles of UN bodies, using specific resolutions pertaining to Palestine as examples. They pointed to practical instructions on how to access information and submit complaints and statements to various UN bodies and mechanisms. These include individual cases, patterns of violations or collective violations. What’s more, Palestinian women in exile can make use of the manual, given that more knowledge on how UN bodies operate will help them apply this knowledge to their reality. Furthermore, parts of the guidebook regarding the protection of women and girls from political violence could be used.

The trainings emphasized on the importance of increasing knowledge of WPS-related UN mechanisms and on conducting a serious discussion on the different roles at the individual and institutional level in order to organize timely calls and advocacy processes on international platforms.

Najwa Sandouka-Yaghi, officer at MIFTAH’s empowerment and training unit, said this intervention was part of MIFTAH’s objectives within its Democracy and Good Governance Program. She explained that this guidebook was the first of its kind and within MIFTAH’s interest in enacting the WPS agenda, with support from the Women’s Coalition for the Implementation of UNSCR1325 in Palestine in implementing the second generation of its 2021-2024 lobbying and advocacy plan. Sandouka-Yaghi continued that it also enabled grassroots organizations and human rights activists to hold Israel accountable on international platforms for its human rights transgressions by presenting reports and information within a clear strategy and a coherent and organized process, which requires preparation, prior coordination and cooperation with relevant institutions.

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