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Date posted: December 02, 2017
By MIFTAH

On November 27, MIFTAH held a second complementary meeting to prepare a policy paper on ways of supporting and prompting women and youth participation in PLO bodies, namely the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS). The meeting was attended by representatives of factions and student unions in Palestinian universities as part of the project “Promoting the participation of women and youth at decision-making levels within the Palestinian political system, especially within the PLO.” This project is implemented by MIFTAH in partnership with EuroMed Women and is aimed at developing public policies towards promoting women and youth participation in decision-making at the local and national level.

Presentations

The participants’ presentations stressed on the need to continue youth action in this regard and to support it through on political, organizational and programmatic tracks including gaining the support of political parties. They focused on youth representation in PLO bodies and in the preparatory committee formed for this purpose as one mechanism for galvanizing democratic ways within the PLO and in the entire political process. They called for further encouraging this initiative given that it is a Palestinian national demand, reaffirming that the aforementioned tracks are used as pressure to revitalize GUPS while the youth movement focuses on reviving PLO bodies through elections. The participants stressed on the need for an electoral system with no restrictions on candidacy age in addition to initiating social dialogue on issues of interest to students.

Recommendations

At the end of the meeting, the participants recommended the need to agree on a youth vision for student bodies to be adopted by GUPS and to connect with the various factions in this regard. They also recommended the formation of a preparatory committee that would be in charge of following up with the steps to revive GUPS and introduce the necessary amendments to the union’s bylaws to coincide with the current changes. One recommendation was for student councils to work as one unit to monitor and pressure the preparatory committee until it sets a date for convening the general conference.

The recommendations confirmed the need to continue these meetings, especially those that include faction representatives and their student bodies in order to produce positions and recommendations that benefit student efforts in reviving GUPS.

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