MIFTAH completes training workshop for the 'WIFAQ' women’s shadow committee on transformational leadership
October 26, 2017

MIFTAH recently completed a training workshop on transformational leadership, which it carried out in coordination and cooperation with the Negotiations Support Unit as part of its Oxfam-funded project, “Promoting Women’s Participation in Security and Peace Building.” Three three-day workshop was aimed at enabling the Wifaq women’s shadow committee to the official national reconciliation committees to carry out its pioneer role in efforts to achieve civic peace and national reconciliation and to energize the role of civil society institutions and political and social women leaders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in supporting women’s representation in national dialogue circles.

MIFTAH projects manager, Najwa Yaghi said several topics were discussed during the workshop pertaining to transformational leadership and the foundations of transitional justice in addition to developing a general framework that reflects the interventions of Wifaq, in line with its strategic approaches in this regard. She also said the meeting tackled the challenges facing reconciliation and ending the division, citing a meeting on the sidelines of the training workshop with Fatah Central Committee member in charge of the reconciliation file, Azzam Al Ahmad. During this meeting, Al Ahmad confirmed his support for the committee in identifying ways the committee could use pressure to achieve reconciliation and invest in the recent steps between Hamas and Fatah towards ending the division.

Yaghi said she believed the pledge made by Al Ahmad to support women’s participation in the reconciliation committees and include them in all the committees would constitute a means by which the women’s committee could push for active participation at the national dialogue table and in dialogue circles on the various files. In particular, she pointed out participation in the reconstruction file and several other social and political files that have emerged over the past 10 years of division.

One participant, Sahar Omar, is a member of the women’s shadow committee and a representative of the Women’s Studies Center in Jerusalem. She commented that “the workshop shed light on ways to approach the issue of transitional justice in the post-reconciliation period. It stressed on the importance of creating a value system that takes into consideration the public interest of the entire Palestinian people.” Omar continued that the workshop also broached an important issue which is the ethics of transformational leadership. She maintained that the Palestinian street should begin to consider this so it could become a tool for the transfer of powers and for offering the people a formula for participation in political life after the division. She also said it could allow for a bigger contribution from women in this post-division period.

Another Wifaq committee member, Salwa Jaradat said: “The workshop, in principle , is important given that it opened up horizons for taking on the responsibilities of the current situation and the steps required from us as women towards the reconciliation. This requires a positive role, which is something the workshop achieved from day one.” Jaradat added that said she hoped Azzam Al Ahmad would keep his promise of including women in all the reconciliation committees.

Meanwhile, local council member and women’s activist Hiba Mahamdeh said she would take everything she learned from the training workshop and convey it to her fellow council members and to the youth in her village in particular. She also said she would encourage prominent figures to take an active role in the reconciliation and promote the concept of civic peace at the individual and social levels. Finally, she said she intended to encourage youths to participate ,interact and integrate with their surroundings.