SVF’s Empowerment Women Social and Political Participation Program invited Ms. HananAbu Mashayekh, member ofMaghzaiMunicipality, and Mrs. Mariam Abu Dakkah, chairman of Women Community Studies, to talk in a live radio show to discuss ‘Women Political Participation Situation and Challenges ‘. The program broadcasted by Alwan Radio on July 11, 2012. Mrs.Abu Dakka tackled the key role of women political and social participation in improving the society. However, she also discussed some challenges hindering this progress inPalestine. She considers the negative influence of social and political division as one of these challenges that have already increased violence phenomena and decreased Palestinian unity.

In her part, Mrs. Abu Mashayekh confirmed on the importance of implementing political and social rights of women according to international conventions and basic laws. In this sense, she said: ‘ we are individuals and citizens in this community, we have to work together to develop and activate strategies and programs to increase women awareness of political and social rights in order to promote their community engagement at all levels’.

Mrs. Abu Dakkah emphasized also on the great role played by women institutions in developing programs and making every efforts to strengthen women’s participation politically and socially. She also commented:  ‘ the political and social division affected negatively the work of these institutions to advocate and defend women political rights ‘. However, she indicated that women institutions succeeded to overcome such obstacles and achieve progress in developing women political engagement.

Mrs. Abu Mashaekh pointed out that the Palestinian woman facing many difficulties and obstacles that have already restricted their participation in the political arena. These included lacking of trained and skilled women. However, women have contributed, fought and sacrificed so much for the liberation process and positive change to occupy political and decision-making positions.

In the end of the radio show, both speakers called to activate and promote women’s political participation and equality.