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Date posted: September 29, 2020
By MIFTAH

Ramallah MIFTAH, in partnership with the General Union of Palestinian Women and in coordination with the Womens Coalition for Resolution 1325 in Palestine, held a workshop on September 13 and 14 to develop strategic approaches for lobbying and advocacy and to determine the local and international mechanisms to render Resolution 1325 and other relevant resolutions compatible with the Palestinian context and the status of Palestinian women under Israeli occupation.

The objective of the meeting was to draw up the second strategic plan for 2020-2023, which comes in tandem with the second generations preparation of the Palestinian National Action Plan for UNSCR 1325, overseen by the Ministry of Womens Affairs.

MIFTAH Executive Director Dr. Tahreer Araj, opened the workshop, pointing to MIFTAHs approach towards developing a lobbying and advocacy strategy for Resolution 1325 Coalition in line with national effort to expand participation in preparing a plan that would include Palestinian women from refugee host countries and involve young women in supporting local and international approaches. She also said the strategy should reflect the concerted efforts of institutions and womens movements to lobby and advocate for the issues of women under occupation and in places of refuge and to mobilize international solidarity to end the occupation and alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people, especially women

Intisar Wazir, who spoke on behalf of the Coalition and as head of the General Union of Palestinian Women, stressed on the importance of having a lobbying and advocacy plan for supporting the vision of the womens movement in addressing the exclusivity of the cause of Palestinian women under occupation. She said the plan must provide advocacy and lobbying tools and ways to best utilize them in attaining the set goals. Wazir continued, The preparation of this plan will be an important tool for the coalition in continuing its support for our cause and for confronting the dangers and threats around us. It also gives the subject matter an international dimension focusing on the use of international rights mechanisms.

Local expert Rasha Salah Eddin said the first day of the workshop offered a brief display of the most important issues concerning Palestinian women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and in refugee camps in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. It also showcased the issues expressed by the Civil Coalition members and discussed strategic approaches based on these issues in addition to the literature on Resolution 1325 and its most significant indicators. She said the first day also included a discussion on the mid-term goals regarding the development of a strategic plan for the Coalitions lobbying and campaign plan.

Meanwhile, human rights consultant Mervat Rishmawi, who led the discussion on the second day, said focus should be put on mechanisms and approaches that could push towards the strategic goals and the utilization of international tools for this purpose, including international human rights, the Security Council and the Committee on the Status of Women (CSW). She also said they discussed the role of other countries, including host countries for Palestinian refugee women, western countries and countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. They stressed on the importance of coordination and joint action with organizations and networks working on Palestine, both regional and international, in addition to pro-Palestinian movements and international labor unions. Rishmawi maintained that the participants were very involved in the workshop, with many sharing their previous experiences in this field.

Coalition coordinator Rima Nazzal said the workshop was timely since the Coalition was developing its lobbying and advocacy plan and finding ways to utilize international mechanisms for implementing Resolution 1325 and the Women, Peace and Security agenda. She focused on the importance of building on the previous plan and on efforts and mechanisms to internationalize the national cause and face the challenges and dangers in its path.

Finally, MIFTAH project manager Najwa Sandouka-Yaghi, said the organization was serious in its efforts to develop a strategic lobbying and advocacy plan for applying UNSCR 1325 at the local and international levels so it responds to the needs and priorities of Palestinian women in Palestine and in the Diaspora. This, she added, would contribute to holding the Israeli occupation accountable for its violations against Palestinian women and girls through connecting with international networks that support Palestinian rights. This would help to expose Israels policies on international platforms, she added. Sandouka-Yaghi explained that the workshop is part of MIFTAHs Conflict and Fragility Project, which is funded by OXFAM, in its efforts to push for the implementation of the WPS agenda in Palestine.

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