Aim of the Project
The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development—REFORM, in partnership with the Rural Women’s Development Society (RWDS) and in cooperation with the Arab Educational Institute, launched the “Women in Conflict Prevention in Hebron – Palestine” (WCPHP) project, which focuses on the role of women in promoting civil peace in the Hebron Governorate. WCPHP aims to increase women’s participation in decision-making processes and enhance the role of both women and men in building safe societies responsive to the needs of women.
The role of women in promoting civil peace in the Hebron Governorate
Financing for this initiative was made possible by the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF), a flexible and rapid financing tool supporting quality interventions to enhance the capacity of local women in Palestine and around the world to prevent conflict, respond to crises and seize key peacebuilding opportunities. With technical support from UN Women Palestine, this project comes in light of the challenges that women encounter, particularly in Area C and H2 areas of the Hebron Governorate, such as violence, marginalization, unequal access to services and limited opportunities to engage in public life, deprivation of their rights, patriarchal norms and traditional gender roles, which impede their ability to contribute to their societies. Occupation further complicates matters because it makes movement within and across societies unsafe. Violence from occupation also generates anxiety and depression, and is a major cause of violence amongst Palestinian societies.
The Project’s Activities
The project coordinator, Shireen Hajal, explained that the project seeks to enable the targeted women to intervene and initiate conflict prevention and change the attitudes of local communities in favor of accepting women’s partnership in the public sphere. She further indicated that it is necessary to empower the targeted women and men to deeply analyze the culture and structure in order to positively shift attitudes and behaviors in favor of women’s partnership. The coordinator also stated that the project aims to promote positive attitudes of different local Palestinian cultures towards women’s participation in preventing conflict, enhance women’s participation and leadership in finding effective early warning mechanisms towards issues that threaten civil peace and work to link women’s early warning mechanisms with national and international reporting and response systems.
In addition, the project will establish an early warning and response system through establishing networks and building the capacities of local women’s clubs and organizations (from H2 and C areas across Hebron) to use tools to collect, process and analyze information about potential conflict situations and how to report them to appropriate bodies. The project will further implement a number of activities to raise the public’s awareness of the added value of women in conflict prevention and to change the attitudes of the local communities in favor of women’s participation. This will be achieved through a digital media campaign, public awareness-raising meetings on women’s rights, coordination meetings with local communities and municipalities in order to engage in constructive dialogue to find solutions regarding measures to prevent conflict, training sessions on early response systems, building an early warning system and social and conflict transformation trainings.
The Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) mobilizes critical support for local and grassroots civil society organizations working on women, peace and security and humanitarian action. Since its launch in 2016, WPHF has funded over 140 civil society organizations in 12 countries working to support women to be a force for crisis response and lasting peace.