Ramallah, Jericho - On Tuesday 19/7/2022, Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development signed cooperation agreements with eleven Palestinian women and Human Rights CSOs from both the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Signing the cooperation agreements was preceded by two- days workshop (in Jericho) entitled (Enhance partnership, coordination, and networking to realize women’s economic empowerment and Eliminate Economic Violence against Women” that was arranged for the representatives of the targeted organization and the attendance of the Netherlands Representative Office and Kvinna Kvinna Foundation.
The workshop was designed to strengthen networking and coordination among the partner organizations and create the base for a network to develop joint work and content of women Empowerment strategies in Palestine. Additionally, participants were introduced to the core of FEM PAWER program that is designed to create safe space for young women within the community-based organizations through a series of lobbying and advocacy activities. Alongside with that, the program seeks developing the capacity of the targeted groups to affect decision makers and related actors within the private and public sectors in order to strengthen women’s economic rights as well as developing advocacy initiatives and increase networking and coordination among women. Through the program, young women capacity to lead the community work will be developed in order to perform leadership role within the partner organizations. The various needed interventions will be utilized within the program in order to create gender- responsive environment and account duty bearers for their role in protecting the economic rights of women and eliminating economic GBV.
The workshop was opened by a keynote speech of the PWWSD’s director- general, Ms. Amal Khreishe who emphasized that the program is designed to build the capacity of all the women and human rights partner organizations. Ms. Khreishe added: “We address feminism from all its aspects and dimensions and its connection with justice and rights on the base of gender equality and social protection, as a tool to realize the rights of worker women”. The speaker added that the current phase is witnessing marginalization process of women organizations and affecting negatively, the economic rights of women involved in both the formal and informal economic sectors where such situation is the threshold to proceed in excluding women from public sphere. Ms. Khreishe pointed out that women are still representing less than 19% of the work force of Palestine.
Khreishe highlighted the status of women who work in the caregiving and domestic work where those are not officially recognized as worker women and they are not included within the social or legal protection. Therefore, according to the speaker, the FEM PAWER program was designed to protect the rights of worker women, especially those involved in the informal sector.
On a related level, the director of women economic program within PWWSD, Ms. Rana Laila mentioned that FEM PAWER Program is implemented in four countries: Palestine, Jordan, Tunisia, and Lebanon and seeks to create a core for a regional network that is dedicated to end economic violence against women through targeting women working in the private sector and the informal sector. The speaker added that the program stands as safe place for partner organizations to lobby towards increasing women’s involvement in economy and developing the capacity of the organizations in the field of lobbying and advocacy towards the economic rights of women and eliminating economic GBV. Additionally, through the program, the partner organizations will work to sensitize duty bearers to gender equality issues as well as developing the capacity of the organizations to revise the applied economic policies and achieve security for women involved in the private and informal economic sectors.
The workshop included practical trainings for the participant organizations in the field of monitoring, evaluation, and reporting in regard to the program. The organizations involved in the program are 9 from the West Bank and 2 from Gaza Strip: ADWAR for Community Change- Hebron, Women Legal and Social Counseling Center- Bethlehem, Kay La Nansa- Jenin, PCPD- Ramallah, Women Work Association- Ramallah, Stars of Hope- Ramallah, Taawon Association- Salfeet, University Graduate Female Association- Gaza Strip, and Amjad Association for Media Development- Gaza Strip. Towards the end of the workshop, each association was able to develop and present its plan to be discussed with the rest of the partner organizations.
On a related level, PWWSD arranged another full day workshop for its staff from both the West Bank and Gaza Strip in order to increase the capacity of the staff and involve them (especially new team members, within the culture of the organization.
FEM PAWER Program will be extended till the end of 2025 and it is being implemented by 4 organizations in four different Arabic countries and Led by Kvinna Kvinna Foundation (Sweden). The lead organization is implementing the project also in Tunisia while in Jordan, it is implemented by Arab Woman Organization, and the Research Development Group of Women Rights in Lebanon, while PWWSD is implementing the program in the Palestine. FEM PAWER is funded by the foreign ministry of Netherlands.