MIFTAH completes guidebook aimed at promoting women’s participation in peace and security
December 28, 2019

Ramallah – 18/12/2019 – MIFTAH recently completed a guidebook addressing the main elements for promoting social awareness on civic peace and women’s participation in peace and security efforts.

The guidebook is part of MIFTAH’s efforts to support the WIFAQ women’s shadow committee to the national reconciliation committees through tools that allow the revival of social dialogue on national issues. These include pushing for national reconciliation and ending the Palestinian division in addition to highlighting the active role women play in efforts to achieve civic peace in Palestine.

MIFTAH organized two workshops in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the course of two days to train WIFAQ committee members on the use of the guidebook. Attorney Rami Muhsin facilitated the workshop in the Gaza Strip while attorney Islam Tamimi facilitated the West Bank workshop. A total of 27 WIFAQ members participated in the two workshops, 10 in Gaza and 17 in the West Bank.

Ahlam Abu Kheir, who recently joined WIFAQ, said the guidebook was the key to reaching all sectors of society with the goal of achieving civic peace and strengthening the social fabric, which has been damaged by the division. She continued that the division is a victory for the occupation and an irreparable loss for the Palestinian citizen and homeland.

Meanwhile, WIFAQ member Rasha Nofal said the training was very important because it offered a trove of information and concepts pertaining to civic peace. She said the guidebook was considered an important reference to be used before the discussion on civic peace is put to the street. Additionally, Nofal said the training offered skills, information and values that pushed in the direction of national reconciliation and ending the division and towards the principles affiliated with the WIFAQ committee. It is considered common ground for unifying efforts and agreeing on the committee’s concepts, particularly where it comes to freedom of opinion and expression and UNSCR 1325. Nofal also said the guidebook was an important reference for institutions and organizations that work on issues related to promoting civic peace.

Tamimi said, “MIFTAH aimed at empowering women cadres, preparing training guides and forming grassroots and women’s coalitions associated with UNSCR 1325 through strengthening Palestinian women, who suffer from the complications of the occupation and the internal division, within a framework of promoting their status and active participation in peace and security efforts. It is also expected to contribute to strengthening their roles in the process of social monitoring over national reconciliation efforts and to press for an end to the division on the premise of benefiting from previous experiences in this regard. In addition, this guidebook will be considered as documentation, extensive, comprehensive, organized and sequenced and a simplified and sufficient reference for the WIFAQ committee to depend on to hold town hall meetings in areas in the Gaza Strip and West Bank including East Jerusalem.” He continued that it is aimed at expanding the sphere of social dialogue and promoting the values of civic peace as a core demand to raise the immunity of the Palestinian society in confronting extremism, rivalry and infighting.

Rami Muhsin from the Gaza Strip pointed to the three chapters in the guidebook, each with several subtitles. Chapter One is an index of basic terms and is meant as an introduction for WIFAQ members to understand the subjects in the guidebook. Chapter Two includes topics on women’s rights and the importance of political participation including UNSCR1325, women and peace, the role of youth and women in supporting the course of reconciliation, freedom of opinion and expression, citizenship, civic peace and democratic transformation. This includes pluralism, tolerance, civic and social peace, social movements, the peaceful transfer of power and the system of transitional justice, all of which supports the concept of women assuming their presumed roles. Chapter Three pertains to the best training practices and management skills for meetings and workshops, which is important in this context.

Project manager Najwa Sandouka-Yaghi said that following this training on the use of the guidebook, the WIFAQ committee, which was established in 2016, would work on organizing expanded meetings that include various social sectors in the West Bank (including Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip, to discuss the values and principles called for in the guidebook. She said this contributed to promoting social dialogue in addressing national issues, including the Palestinian division and promoting social awareness on the need to return to the national dialogue table in order to regain national unity.

The guidebook was developed through MIFTAH’s Conflict and Fragility project, which it implements in cooperation and coordination with OXFAM.