SVF’s Empowerment Women Social and Political Participation Program invited Mrs. Ibtisam Al Za’anin, civil society activist from the General Union of Palestinian Woman, and Mr. Mohammad Al Najar, mayor of Maghazi municipality, to talk in a live radio show to discuss ‘ Quota System and Woman Political Participation’. The program broadcasted by Alwan Radio on July 25th 2012.

Mrs. Za’anin confirmed that women political and social involvement is very crucial to empower their situation in the community at all levels. She also discussed the mechanisms of promoting and increasing their participation in the local councils, parliaments and decision-making positions as well. In this sense, she pointed out that the important need to increase women participation through quota system to ensure their active and prominent participation in the political arena.

In his part, Mr. Al.Najar mentioned that quota system allowed the marginalized and vulnerable communities to participate actively in the councils and parliaments. He also indicated that there is a clear change in the rate of women’s access to decision-making positions after the approval of 20% of women quota.

Mrs. Al Za’anin tackled the causes and the difficulties that forced woman to avoid political participation. She said: ‘there are different factors affected negatively women political engagement involved such as lacking of education and awareness in addition to the discriminatory laws, the economic situation, socialization and the dominant male cultural heritage ‘.

Moreover, Mr Al Najar emphasized that the importance of the media outlets to create and develop basic elements for good human culture among communities and individuals. He said:’ such development has the power to promote the principle of partnership, cooperation and communication as a culture of political and social engagement ‘.

At the end of the meeting, Mr Al Najar and Mrs. Al Za’anin called all the Palestinian political parties to end the political division and unifying efforts toward building and developing a strong nation based on democracy, tolerance and culture of non-violence.