MIFTAH holds town hall meetings on political participation and the promotion of democratic values
September 02, 2021

Ramallah – 30/8/2021 – MIFTAH recently completed a series of town hall meetings, which began at the beginning of the year in various parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It held 111 meetings over the past months, targeting around 2,665 participants of which 21% were men. The meetings were aimed at raising public awareness on the importance of political participation and the promotion of democratic values through the electoral process. They also focused on the need for youth and women to be integrated in decision-making positions.

The topics addressed in the meetings revolved around current political issues, particularly local and general elections, in addition to public awareness on supporting an approach encouraging fair representation for women and youth, whether at the level of PLC elections and PLO institutions or in local council elections. The participants also discussed the repercussions of the absence of democratic mechanisms in Palestinian society, especially regarding civic peace.

The meetings produced several joint recommendations that focused on the importance of reviving democratic life for the Palestinians and running their institutions according to standards of good governance as a way of enabling citizens to exercise their monitoring role.

The recommendations also pointed to the importance of having vital and democratic institutions capable of absorbing the quick changes taking place, responding to the needs of society and representing the various social sectors in the Palestinian political system, especially women and youth, through promoting their political participation. They warned of the continued collapse of trust between citizens and state institutions given that they do not derive their legitimacy from them, which in turn has led to the isolation of these institutions, rendering them incapable of performing their duties. It also increases citizens’ overall sense of alienation from their political system, which creates even more political, social and economic problems.

Project manager Hassan Mahareeq, said MIFTAH utilizes these meetings as a mechanism for communicating with the public in the various districts. He said the dialogue between the various social sectors on issues pertaining to political participation was conducted within a safe atmosphere that freely broaches the issues of political participation. He also said it shed light on the most significant obstacles facing the resumption of democracy in Palestine and the participation of youth and women in national decision-making.