Press conference showcases study results on hindrances to youth and women’s advancement to decision-making positions within the PLO
MIFTAH recently held a press conference in which it announced the results of a study on the hindrances to youth and women’s advancement to decision-making positions within the PLO. The study was conducted in cooperation and coordination with representatives from political factions and women and youth groups which acted as a steering committee for the study in cooperation with Leading Point Consulting.
MIFTAH project coordinator Hassan Mahareeq said the study was part of the organization’s project “Promoting Palestinian women and youth representation in the Palestinian political system”, especially within the PLO, which MIFTAH implements in cooperation with the Euro-Med Women Network. He said the study provided insight and qualitative contributions that could enrich efforts to reform the PLO on new foundations and according to a perspective based on the principles of human rights, political partnership and promoting equality and justice for various components of the Palestinian people, particularly women and youth, in terms of the nature and scope of their participation and representation within the PLO’s factions and bodies.
Author of the study, Khaled Nabris, said the results showed a clear decline in the representation of women in the PLO’s framework. He also said it revealed several regulations and internal procedures in some of the PLO’s factions and bodies that limit or even prevent youth from reaching decision-making levels.
The study indicated that equal representation of women and youth and their ascension to decision-making positions can only be achieved through the PLO’s components, namely political factions and parties, popular unions and the PLC. This, he maintained, requires the development of the systems and practices of these three entities to ensure the broadest possible representation of women and youth in them.
The study called for the participation of the women’s and youth movement in discussions on the reform process of the PLO and to build on what the factions and parties agreed on in regards to reviving and developing the framework structure and performance of the PLO. This is to ensure that the demands of women and youth to equality and equal representation are integrated into the PLO’s new systems, which will lay the foundation for future general elections.
The study also stressed on the importance of the women’s movement preserving its achievements and accomplishments and building on them. It called for an objective and in-depth assessment of the women’s quota system and for putting mechanisms in place by forming bodies for monitoring, following up and accountability over women’s and youth rights. These will gauge the extent of commitment of PLO bodies, factions and parties in implementing the women and youth quota system to ensure that women and youth reach advanced decision-making positions.
Steering committee member representing FIDA Siham Barghouthi, said the committee made the study unique given that it is comprised of the various factions and followed the study closely from the beginning. She said the committee ensured that youth and women were integrated in the PLO’s bodies and frameworks in order to revive and reform them.
Meanwhile, PLO Executive Committee member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi pointed to the need for formulating an integral action plan through building an alliance over goals between civil society and women’s and youth organizations and groups. In this regard, she criticized rhetoric based on slogans and also the methods employed that are not in line with developments of these times or the future.
Furthermore, MIFTAH’s Programs Director Lamis Hantouli said that the study would be followed by practical interventions based on scientific foundations in cooperation with the steering committee, in order to unify efforts towards reviving the participation of women and youth in decision-making positions.