SVF’s Empowerment Women Social and Political Participation Program invited Mrs. HananSiam, civil society activist from Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development, and Mrs. Huda Alian, civil society activist from the Public Union of Palestinian Woman, to talk in a live radio show broadcasted by Alwan Radio on June 20th 2012. The speakers discussed ‘ Women CSOs Role at Promoting Women Political Engagement’.

Mrs.Siamindicated that the Palestinian Women Organizations play significant role to promote the political participation process. She also mentioned that the international conventions ensured that the laws call to end all forms of discrimination against women. The laws ensure to increase their active and effective political and social engagement within community as well. Mrs.Siamdiscussed the difficulties and obstacles that undermine women CSO’s efforts in playing an active role in promoting the political participation process. She said: ‘weakness of Palestinian Civil Society, their hesitation in being pioneers for a change, and their relations with the various political parties are the most factors that affect women political and social engagement’.  She said that negative stereotype of Palestinian women influenced their political participation within society.

Mrs. Alian pointed out that women contribute largely to the political and social work and they have achieved many and varied success at different levels including local councils, parliaments and decision-making positions. She also confirmed that coordination and networking between NGOs and CSOs needs double efforts to overcome difficulties and obstacles facing women political engagement.   She also described the relationship among women CSO’s as non-organized and not as required. In this sense, she also indicated that the implemented programs in this regard aim to enhance the capacity and women in politics.

In conclusion, both speakers agreed that Palestinian NGO’s play a vital role in building a civil society inPalestine. They raised some recommendations to promote the role of Palestinian civil society and women political participation inPalestine.