Results at a Glance
Since its establishment in the oPt, UN Women has supported Palestinian women and organizations’ efforts for the inclusion of women and girls at all level of decision-making, so that they can effectively influence the decisions that affect their lives. In 2012, in preparation for the local council elections, UN Women, in partnership with the Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC), implemented a community-level programme on women’s political participation aimed at increasing self-confidence among female participants, particularly those who have long been marginalized and lacked essential skills to become leaders in their communities. 1,136 women and men, from community-based organizations, women’s organizations, youth organizations, SABAYA centres and local councils in 17 of the most marginalized and remote villages located received a comprehensive set of training on women’s participation and leadership. There were many unique success stories of participants who broke social taboos in their communities and became part of decision-making processes. Amongst many success stories, at least four women became members of their local councils, for the first time, while others established new women’s committees in their village, with the aim of advocating for change in the lives of all women within their respective communities
UN Women and WATC are currently working on the development of the first database on women members of local councils. With information on all women members of local councils - 700 across the West Bank alone - and including information on the challenges they have faced and the needs that they have, the database will help to tailor the support provided to women elected in local councils.
At the national level, UN Women has long invested in a strategic partnership with key organizations within the Palestinian women’s movement, to foster the movement’s role in making women’s voices count in political processes. In 2012, UN Women supported the General Union of Palestinian Women (GUPW) for the organization of their first-ever regional conference on women. More than 300 women from the oPt and Arab States participated in the “Arab Women’s Conference in Palestine”, offering an unprecedented forum for the Palestinian women’s movement to speak out on the situation of Palestinian’s women and their demands for rights in the oPt and beyond. At this conference, Palestinian women endorsed the Palestinian Women’s Bill of Rights, which had been revised, with support from UN Women, through engagement with more than 700 Palestinian women leaders.