REFORM implemented an online conference in the Gaza Strip, entitled: “The role of men in promoting women’s partnership in public life” to discuss and analyze stereotypes related to the concept of masculinity and power relations on the basis of gender.
stereotypes related to the concept of masculinity
The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development – REFORM implemented a conference entitled: “The role of men in promoting women’s partnership in public life” to enhance participants’ understanding of issues related to gender and the concept of masculinity. This conference also enabled the participants to discuss and analyze stereotypes related to the concept of masculinity and power relations on the basis of gender, where they exchanged and shared practices and values that promote a more equitable society in terms of gender. They further highlighted the challenges the women encounter at social, political and economic levels. This conference took place in the Gaza Strip via ZOOM with the participation of a number of social activists and institutions from various areas across the Strip.
The project coordinator, Rena Alhaj Abed, welcomed the participants and the project’s donors and partners, indicating the aim of the conference is to identify the challenges that women encounter on the cultural and structural levels in the Palestinian society by allowing men to encounter these challenges; thus promoting gender equality and enabling women to acquire economic and social justice.
the importance of women’s partnership in public life
During the conference, the facilitator, Mare’e Basheer, and co-facilitator, Adham Yaghi, conducted numerous interactive digital activities, including the presentation of images in relation to gender stereotypes and the repercussions of culture on the formation of gender identity on the reality of women in public life. Goal 5 of the sustainable development goals related to achieving gender equality was presented and the extent of which the Palestinian society is close to achieving this goal was discussed.
Moreover, an open dialogue took place amongst the participants on the concept of masculinity and its relation to the extent of discrimination, marginalization and exclusion in gender roles. They further addressed the political, economic, social and cultural challenges that women encounter from the perspective of men and the extent of their suitability with women’s aspirations. Many participants shared their personal experiences which contribute to enhancing women’s participation in public life.
At the end of the meeting, the participants recommended the necessity of including men in activities related to gender. They also stressed the necessity of creating safe spaces for open dialogues to dismantle the challenges that women encounter in order to increase their participation in public life. They suggested that this could be achieved if the Palestinian society’s awareness is raised on the importance of women’s participation and partnership in public life in order to encourage others to promote gender equality.
ABOUT the project
This activity comes as part of the project, “WE CHANGE – Participatory gender pathways and promotion of women’s economic empowerment in Palestine,” which aims to increase access and sustainable participation of women in the Palestinian labour market for income generation as well as to promote gender equality in society. The project also aims to reformulate the concept of gender equality by not only encouraging behavioral and social change, but also by creating cultural events that give youth and women a safe space for artistic production and opens communication channels capable of disseminating messages about the value of gender equality in societies.
This project is funded by The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS Jerusalem) and is implemented in partnership with We World – Civil Volunteer Group ONLUS (WW-GVC), Overseas and Business Women’s Forum.