Ramallah – The Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development (PWWSD) conducted a training course on “Local Government Laws and Regulations – Women’s Rights as Human Rights – Media and Communication Skills” for a number of women running in local elections in Ramallah, Nablus, and Bethlehem.
This course comes as part of the project “Promoting Palestinian Women’s Political Participation… Women’s Shadow Councils in Local Government – Grassroots Approach” implemented in collaboration with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.
The 2-day training was conducted by trainers Faris Abdullah and Shatha Qawasmi, totaling 12 training hours, and targeting 51 women running in local elections from various West Bank governorates.
The first day of the course focused on building the capacities of participants in dealing with the media, and learning the best practices and techniques for different media outlets, in addition alliance building techniques and campaign management. The second day focused on raising participants’ awareness of Palestinian local election law and international election standards, as well as women’s role in the electoral process, increasing their knowledge of the quota system and how to apply it in electoral lists, and understanding the vote counting process and how it translates to seat allocation in local elections.
In the course, participants were able to learn about local government laws and policies supporting women in candidacy and council membership, in addition to the obstacles and challenges facing women as elected members and candidates, and how to deal with these barriers.
The trainers said that they focused on the needs of the target groups, where the training was conducted using practical application, such as learning through experience by acting out media interviews and presentations, where participants took turns playing different roles, in addition to using an interactive participatory approach in training activities.
One participant, Asmaa abu-Rahmeh said that the topics addressed were very beneficial, increasing her knowledge of local election law. She developed a stronger ability and courage to do press interviews and clearly get her message across to the audience.
Another participant noted that the course enriched her knowledge in the legalese of the electoral process, how to deal with the media, as well as dialogue and discussion techniques she learned through practical application by conducting interviews with other participants to hone her communication and media skills.
Sereen Naji noted that the training increased her self-confidence and developed her skills, strengthening her determination to run for office, and providing her with new skills and capabilities.
At the end of the course, participants recommended more of these training courses, expressing their gratitude for PWWSD and everyone in charge of conducting these important courses