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Several international instruments emphasize the right of women to political participation and access to decision-making positions. The Basic Law of Palestine, as well as other legislation, also emphasizes women’s right to political participation. Women’s participation in political life is important because it realizes democracy in society, contributes to higher development rates, and embodies complete citizenship rights for women. Women’s participation in political life depends upon social, political and cultural factors and, in the Palestinian case, the Israeli occupation, which hinders political practice for men and women.
The Palestinian Basic Law emphasizes the contents of international instruments. Article (9) thereof provides that “Palestinians shall be equal before the law and the judiciary, without distinction”. Article (10) of the same law provides that basic human rights and liberties shall be protected and respected, and it calls on the Palestinian Authority to act immediately to accede to international declarations and instruments that protect human rights. In that vein, the government has announced its commitment to developing a comprehensive and complete system for social protection based on rights and ensuring a decent and dignified life for citizens, particularly the most disadvantaged and marginalized groups.