This program is one of the most important tools of PWWSD to achieve its first strategic objective. It is implemented under several specific objectives: to raise Women’s awareness of their political, civic, and legal rights and develop their capacity to defend these rights and embody them in their private and public life.
Educational activities that take the form of adult educational lectures and workshops for women and young women are among the main activities of the program, as well as study circles and experience exchanges between women’s groups locally, regionally, and globally. The program conducts training courses to develop women’s knowledge, to change the gender stereotypes, and to build women’s leadership capacities. In addition, women are organized in community-based organizations (CBOs), lending, and saving groups and cooperatives, with the idea of enhancing women’s economic roles as an advanced form of empowerment.
Working women are organized in syndicates and trade unions in order to stress the protection of their rights and enhance the role of these bodies in advocating working women rights. In this regards, PWWSD organized Kindergarten and private school workers in syndicates, which formed a workers union for those working in this sector. PWWSD gives special attention to female members of local authorities and other decision- making circles in order to provide them with the needed support.
A remarkable success in this field is forming shadow councils in order to backup (support) the elected women within local councils, as well as monitoring the performance of the local authorities to underline their commitment to the principles of gender equality and respect of women’s rights. Lobby decision makers to fulfill their moral and legal obligations towards women’s rights and the principles of gender equality. Decision makers and policy designers are targeted through the following activities: Organizing open panels and workshops to highlight issues related to women’s rights in general such as social protection, women’s rights in the applied laws, participation in decision- making processes, elections, and gender equality within the various aspects of the communities life. The program is active within several local, regional, and global networks and coalitions to achieve the objectives of the lobbying and advocacy campaigns.
On a related level, the program arranges lobbying and advocacy campaigns to eliminate violence against women and provide women with protection within the Palestinian basic laws and all other laws, particularly the personal status and penalty laws. The program arranges individual and collective meetings with decision makers and participates in developing national plans to enhance women’s rights and gender equality in partnership with various concerned governmental and non- governmental organizations.
The program aims at empowering women economically through increasing women’s participation in the labor market. To achieve this objective, activities to combat poverty and unemployment among women are arranged and women are organized in syndicates and trade unions. Additionally, the program works on developing women’s capacities in the field of managing income- generating projects. Women’s capacities in the field of establishing cooperatives are enhanced. PWWSD works on widening the marketing scope of women’s products in order to increase income from such projects. On the level of lobbying and advocacy, those in authority are lobbied to provide protection for women’s products. PWWSD advocates the recognition of women’s work inside the home (domestic labor) , making it imperative to grant women social protection and insurances related to decent work. PWWSD is a member in the National Committee for the Employment of Women.
PWWSD contributes to covering the educational tuition of some students, and priority is given to those from families where women are the primary income-providers. Community Centers: A pioneering idea through which the organization provides physical space for women to meet, socialize, and discuss their issues. The community centers provide women with all the necessary facilities to enhance their development and improve their quality of life. Currently, PWWSD has community centers in Nablus, Tulkarem, Bethlehem, Yatta and Gaza, in which a number of the organization’s activities, largely aimed at women, are implemented. However, in special circumstances, the community centers are open to young men, children, and families.. Marginalized young men and children are targeted through the community centers in order to raise awareness of their rights and women’s rights. This increases the sensitivity of the local community to issues relating to gender. Moreover, several cultural and social activities are conducted through the community centers for women and children, which include film screenings, reading, drama performances, and access to the internet. The Program provides legal services and pleads for women in courts with regard to worker’s rights, personal status, and inheritance issues to promote women’s access to justice.