MIFTAH completes workshops on citizens’ rights and political participation targeting youth groups
Ramallah – 14/12/2021 – MIFTAH recently capped off the second round of training workshops for 2021 on citizens’ rights, the peaceful transfer of power and support for women and youth participation in the upcoming 2022 local elections.
A total of 80 male and female youth were targeted in the Jenin, Tulkarm, Tubas and Qalqilya areas. The training revolved around acquired knowledge for youth on citizens’ rights, concepts pertaining to elections and the principles of democracy. It also focused on the development of skills regarding public awareness on the political participation of women and youth in the democratic process and promoting societal understanding of the peaceful transfer of power, whether at the local council level or in general elections (legislative and presidential).
Political affairs trainer, Mohammed Ghrouf, who oversaw the training for the Tubas group, said overall, the workshop responded to many of the participants’ demands, especially those pertaining to their rights and duties. He said this was achieved through theoretical and practical training that included topics such as the quota system and the General Elections Law. The participants, he explained, were then asked to devise three lobbying and advocacy campaigns associated with these rights such as the right to peaceful assembly, the right to life and the management of election campaigns. Ghrouf stressed on the important achievements of the participants and the skills they acquired in managing discussions, pointing to the fact that for most of the participants, this was their first time taking part in such trainings. He also presented the recommendations put forth by the participants, including: the need to continue working with women candidates; adopting the quota system on the basis of a 30% minimum; encouraging factions to increase the participation of women and generating ongoing dialogue with decision-makers in these parties.
One participant, Fida Mousa, said the most significant impact of the training was that it gave her tools on how to address the public and be able to adequately relay information to them, in addition to being able to properly hold discussions. She also maintained how important it was to continue such trainings in the future.
Youth activist, Mohammed Zakarneh said the workshop gave him the tools to be able to speak publicly, which is something he was unable to do in the past. “The training gave me much more self-confidence and also provided me with a treasure-trove of information and increased my knowledge of elections and the political participation of youth. I hope in the future our village youth will be able to form a list to run in the elections, since the last elections were decided by acclamation.”
Meanwhile, MIFTAH coordinator in Jenin, Farha Abu Hayja’ said, “The training was unique in the geographic and political diversity of its participants, with representatives from various parties and districts. This was a good reflection of the scope of youth participation. It also motivated most of the participants to have discussions with their constituencies on pressing issues.
It should be noted that work with the youth groups will continue with the start of 2022, through 160 awareness-raising meetings in their respective districts.
These training workshops are part of MIFTAH’s strategic approaches to support and empower the involvement of women and youth leaders in public affairs, with a focus on citizens’ rights and the political participation of women and youth, particularly in local and general elections. They fall under MIFTAH’s EU-funded project “Working Together as Agents for Change” in the four northern districts (Tubas, Jenin, Tulkarm, Qalqilya) in partnership with the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling.