As part of several activities … MIFTAH releases guidebook on civic peace
April 14, 2020

Ramallah -- As part of its strategic goal to promote good governance in Palestine, MIFTAH recently released a guidebook on issues of civic peace. Through this goal, MIFTAH pushes for lobbying and advocacy to impact public policies which guarantee social justice, equality and the protection of citizens’ rights for all and which contribute to impacting at the international level for the rights of Palestinian women under occupation and in places of refuge.

MIFTAH also developed its own Training Manual on UNSC Resolution 1325 which includes CEDAW recommendations 30, 32, 35. The guidebook is aimed at capacity-building for trainers, activists and civil society institutions in order to link the principles and values of CEDAW and its recommendations, civic peace issues and elements of the Women, Peace and Security agenda to the situation in Palestine.

Additionally, MIFTAH organized two training workshops as part of the practical framework for these interventions in the first quarter of 2020. The first targeted training teams in grassroots organizations and civil society institutions in the West Bank while the second was organized in coordination and cooperation with the Culture and Free Thought Association in the Gaza Strip and which targeted the member institutions in the “WISAL” coalition. The training revolved around an introduction and in-depth gender-based analysis in regards to the following CEDAW principles: actual equality, non-discrimination, and commitment by the state. The training workshops also addressed CEDAW recommendations 30, 32, 35 and linked them with the situation of Palestinian women. The working groups highlighted the specificity of women in Palestinian refugee camps in Palestine and in exile, women during and post-conflict and gender-based violence. The discussions were based on an analytical study prepared by MIFTAH in 2019.

Furthermore, MIFTAH supported members of the shadow committee “WIFAQ” for the Palestinian National Reconciliation in their awareness sessions on civic peace and strengthening the Palestinian social fabric based on the guidebook covering this topic. These sessions targeted around 200 women and youth participants from the West Bank and Gaza Strip during which the WIFAQ members presented concepts and principles pertaining to freedom of opinion and expression, non-discrimination based on sex, gender or political affiliation and citizen rights. They also highlighted the legal and value system in Palestinian society, while the attendees raised certain issues regarding the ongoing internal conflict and security chaos.

MIFTAH coordinator in the Gaza Strip Fatima Ashour pointed out that these meetings were crucial to promoting the role of Palestinian women in cementing the concept of civic peace in society, stressing on the need to accept the opinion of others, equality between the sexes on rights, reaching decision-making positions and in political participation. WIFAQ committee members then highlighted the recommendations of the participants, which included the need to hold periodic presidential and legislative elections and to restructure the PLO and its institutions on democratic bases that guarantee representation for all sectors and components of Palestinian society.

MIFTAH projects manager Najwa Sandouka / Yaghi maintained that these interventions fall within the context of pressuring for international mechanisms that hold official parties accountable for providing protection for Palestinian women and halting the Israeli occupation’s violations against them. She added that the interventions, part of the “Conflict and Fragility” project MIFTAH implements in conjunction with OXFAM, were important in light of the absence of a national legal system that promotes women’s participation in public life.