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Date posted: September 18, 2018
By MIFTAH

A meeting held at MIFTAHs offices last week discussed facts on social reconciliation prepared by the WIFAQ womens shadow committee for the national reconciliation committees. During the meeting, both common issues and challenges regarding social reconciliation were discussed by highlighting the different viewpoints and obstacles from the various social experiences and the resulting injustices that impinge on societal peace.

In her presentation of these facts, Rana Daana, member of the WIFAQ committee and social activist, pointed out that the factsheet was prepared on the basis of womens and mens viewpoints of social reconciliation in Palestinian society. She confirmed that the data from the field put focus on the Palestinian division which has risks and dangers that have gone beyond even the event itself. In this regard, Daana was indicating to the dangerous repercussions the division has had on the Palestinian cause and its national liberation project and on the Palestinian social fabric.

In broaching the necessities of social reconciliation, the factsheet confirmed the need to restore unity and coherence between social members and components and to preserve civic peace and social fabric; and to disseminate a culture of tolerance and promote solidarity between the people in confronting the fragmentation and fractures in the structure of Palestinian society due to the policies and measures of the Israeli occupation, which have resulted in forced changes in the demographic structure and in the ethnic, religious, social and economic population areas.

Furthermore, the reality of Palestinian women was addressed including the damage inflicted on them because of the division. The participants also addressed womens political and social participation and the efforts being made for social and political reconciliation in addition to efforts to present a future vision for mechanisms of social justice. They also spoke about the need to formulate a general concept of social reconciliation that coincides with a social contract based on the notion of citizenship and acknowledgment of womens rights in political participation. This, they said, would help to regain unity, , achieve social freedoms and reaffirm that social reconciliation is a precursor to comprehensive national reconciliation.

The meeting, which brought together the WIFAQ committee and women political and social leaders, was concluded by stressing on the need for accountability of those in places of responsibility so they could bear their responsibilities/be held accountable/ and face punitive measures, whether at the local, district or national level and also to move from soft mechanisms to confrontation. The participants also stressed on the issue of social protection and the need to develop practical plans that invest in forming alliances that include women, youth, children and men, in addition to shifting the womens narrative, especially the grassroots one, from the role of victim to a more active and effective one. They also pointed out the importance of transforming individual and personal concerns into collective ones as a springboard for forming a more general movement and overall condition.

MIFTAHs projects manager Najwa Yaghi clarified from the start that this informational session is part of MIFTAHs efforts to revitalize the women peace and security agenda and that it is one of a number of sessions that will be held with WIFAQ and a group of women leaders to reach an agreement on public policies on national reconciliation, freedoms committee, social reconciliation and PLO files. These efforts are part of MIFTAHs interventions during 2018 within the project Conflict and Fragility that is funded by OXFAM.

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