Political and Social Participation

Overview At RWDS we believe that women have the right to actively participate and be decision-makers in all areas that impact their lives, especially at the social and political levels. To this extent, RWDS has worked to create local spaces where women can participate in their communities and supported women to become active decision makers. Since 2010, we have supported the construction of women’s clubs in 4 villages (Saida, Halhul, Irtah and Shufeh,) and the restoration of club spaces in Bayt Fajjar and Wadi Fokin. 16 clubs have been provided with computers and/or TV screens. Dozens of workshops on women’s rights, leadership, communication skills and more have been hosted at our women’s clubs, either by RWDS or through our partnerships. We have designed a training manual regarding gender and leadership and trained more than 40 young women on youth leadership. RWDS actively supported women in rural communities to run for local councils in the 2012 elections. More than 20 members from our clubs won seats in local councils. The clubs were also very active in voter registration and civic awareness about the role of local government and the importance of elections. RWDS continues to work with these leaders so they have the skills they need to effectively lead and participate in local government. Women are unable to participate if they are not healthy. Thus, RWDS has partnered in ongoing ways to address women’s physical and emotional well-being, including raising awareness about breast cancer. Learn more about our psycho-social work in Violence Prevention. Current program goals To support and develop women’s active social and political leadership, at the local and national levels by providing them with knowledge, leadership and life skills, and the necessary tools they need to implement political and social initiatives at the local level. To raise local and national interest around social and political participation of women in rural areas through documenting this participation, distributing this information and conducting local awareness raising initiatives about this participation by targeting men, women, youth, and community leaders. To enable women to access and participate in cultural, social and sport activities through encouraging social and cultural movement amongst rural women and to provide appropriate community spaces that corresponds with their needs and that allows for this participation.

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