SVF launched on December 20,2012, aconference on women political and social participation in partnership withGazaUniversityand Center for NGOs development inGaza.

SVF’s Executive Director, Awni Alhaj, opened up the conference by welcoming more than 250 local participants including local residents, NGOs representatives and dozens of women.

First work paper of the conference was delivered by Majeda Albelbeisi, a local media figure. Albelbeisi titled her paper, sociopolitical reality of women and it’s impact on social and political participation of women.

Albelbeisi maintained that women have the right to involve in political life and even in decision-making but women continue to encounter a number of major obstacles towards that right, including social traditions and customs, which have made little of women compared with men.

She also said that women quota representation in parliament has been less than needed, despite the fact women quota reached about 17 seats by the 2006 elections.

Dr. Bahjat Abu Za’nouna, from his part, spoke of the role of media outlets to promote women political participation, saying that media outlets have considerably raised women awareness regarding political participation.

Reham Auda, a social activist, believed that that women role is that significant and that women should be involved in the development process for the local community, calling for selecting women who are well-educated and capable of engaging in such a development. Development for Reham could include education, health, sanitation and technology.

Mohammad Alnajjar, mayor of Maghazi municipality presented his own paper work , which focused on women leaderships within municipal councils , asserting that women should be enlightened towards their own basic rights for women have a great deal of strength points that need to be employed in the right direction. Alnajjar believed that women have maintained a great deal of success throughout their municipal work experiences.

Ibtesam Aza’aneen, a social activist, produced her paper work on experience of women in municipal councils, making clear that women participation in elections has marked a turning point in women political activity, leading women to positions within municipal councils.

She pointed out that women should be further promoted to partake in political life and women capabilities should be developed for the best of genuine women political participation.

Another speaker, Dr. Rami Wshah, said that all international conventions or laws, pertaining to women, have stipulated that women status should be upgraded and that there is a need for applying such laws across the region in order to allow women to smoothly participate in politics.

Participants of the conference recommended that women role should be further promoted in order to create a sort of balance and equality between men and women, something that is more than needed to achieve what they termed social justice. They also called for pushing forward wheel of community development to maintain a state of community-based peace and social security in which women could be an integral part.