MIFTAH holds training workshops targeting women candidates in electoral lists
April 29, 2021

Ramallah – 28/4/2021 – As part of preparations for the upcoming PLC elections, slated for May 22, MIFTAH held a number of training workshops targeting women candidates in the various electoral lists, aimed at increasing women’s chances to win PLC seats and to raise their awareness on issues of social priority. Another objective was to create an environment of dialogue between the women from the different lists based on a foundation of democratic principles and values of justice and equality between the various societal components.

Training program

The training included two focal points. The first pertained to the system of laws and procedures that regulate the electoral process and the nature and components of the democratic political system. It also revolved around the vital importance of women’s participation in political action, in addition to shedding light on a number of priority laws and public policies to be included in electoral programs and ultimately within the tasks of the next PLC. The second focal point was based on the importance of providing the candidates with the necessary knowledge and skills for utilizing traditional and modern media tools, including digital media. The goal of this was to boost the candidates’ ability in reaching the Palestinian public and conveying the gist of their electoral campaigns, based on issues in need of policy formulation and legislation capable of responding to the needs of the public. In turn, this serves to boost candidates’ abilities in mobilizing and raising awareness on their significance as representatives of marginalized social sectors, including women and youth.

Promoting leadership roles among 90 candidates

MIFTAH targets approximately 90 candidates from electoral lists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, through training workshops geared at building their leadership capacities in preparation for the next PLC. The aim is to bolster their abilities in defending and fighting for issues they believe are important so these issues have priority on PLC agendas, especially given the growing challenges resulting from the 15-year hiatus in the democratic process. Such issues include a reconsideration of educational, health and economic policies and the system of laws based on the values of justice and equality.

What did the candidates say?

The candidates all agreed on the importance of the training and how it provided them with the necessary and crucial skills for reaching and impacting the public through the media to ensure that their electoral messages touch on the needs of voters. One candidate said the training offered her skills she had lacked at the level of practical application, something which she feels she now has. “This includes making a strong impression and improving how I address the public and answer their questions. Still, I would like more practical training since we are so close to the actual elections,” she said.

Another candidate said the training bolstered her skills, especially in addressing the public, speaking to the media and communicating with social media networks. “The benefit is that we can invest what we learned in the future during our campaigning; in this way, our skills will continuously develop.”

This intervention is part of MIFTAH’s efforts to institutionalize and promote democratic practices through raising awareness and creating understanding around common issues among the various political components in Palestinian society, along with promoting the transparency of their electoral platforms to the public. It also seeks to follow up with and hold parliamentary blocs and committees accountable for their electoral promises once they reach the PLC.