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Interview: Increasing women’ s participation in the upcoming elections
18 August 2016

RAMALLAH - Nisaa FM: Yesterday, August 17, Nisaa FM held an open media dialogue on the role of political parties in promoting and supporting the active political participation of Palestinian women in local elections under the slogan “you and I are one nation”. The project, which was conducted in partnership with the United Nations Women’s Commission and the Central Election Commission and realised with support from the Norwegian government, aims to enhance the participation of Palestinian women in politics and decision-making positions with the approach of the October 8 elections in mind.


Executive director of The Federation of Women’s Committees for Social Work, Hadeel Hamdan, explained that the union since 2004 has worked to promote women’s participation in political and public life.

Interview with Hadeel Hamdan available here:



Director of political participation and women, peace and security in UN Women Palestine, Hanan Kaoud, emphasised the work of the commission on raising awareness of women’s participation in political action and access to decision-making positions by building a partnership with civil society organisations. They are working with various organisations and media to raise the quota of women in the elections to 30% and reduce the candidacy age to 21 years.

Interview with Hanan Kaoud available here:


Interview with the Spokesman for the Central Election Commission available here:


According to Jihad Mhaka, the decisions of the technical committee to follow up on the elections affairs did not bring across women’s messages very well, partially due to the Palestinian economic situation and the instability of the Federation of Feminist Palestinian Associations. According to her experience in the ministry, women on the lists of the local electoral body are sometimes selected only to complete the numeral requirements.

Interview with Jihad Mhaka available here:



Member of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah Dalal Shalama stressed the importance to recognise that through the past years women have proven their ability of effectively handling crises and conflicts as a result of the occupation. Therefore, women are as qualified as men to participate in politics, and we must recognise this and elect politicians on the basis of their ability to achieve realistic change, and without regard of their gender.

Interview with Dalal Sharma available here:


Salah al-Khawaia, representative of the initiative in the Central Elections, stated that since half of society consists of women, civilisation, freedom and democracy in a country should be measured by the extent of women’s participation in its social and political life. She added that “unfortunately, there are a large number of political forces and institutions that talk about the importance and role of women, but are not doing enough to activate their role in political life and ability to vote and run for office.”

Interview with Salah al-Khawaja available here: