West Bank and Gaza: Grassroots Activists for Just Peace and Gender Equality – WBG937
A just and lasting peace is the most important precondition to enabling sustainable development in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Ongoing internal conflict related to the political division and the protracted conflict and restrictions related to the Israeli occupation has counter-effected development. The national focus on conflict has largely sidelined the concerns of women’s rights activists, yet achieving women’s political, economic and social equality is critical to greater peace and security. While the protracted conflict affects all populations, women are particularly vulnerable to limitations on mobility, shrinking safe and secure space, rights abuses and communal and domestic violence. Due to the prevailing patriarchical socio-cultural norms, not only is there a failure to recognise the particular effects of conflict on women, but also a lack of recognition of women’s capacity for mobilizing and supporting the community in times of conflict. There is limited women’s participation in politics in general and in the peace process in particular, with zero women in high level positions of the Palestinian negotiations team. This lack of participation and representation further spreads perception of women as politically impaired, undermines women’s confidence and furthers unpunished gender based violence and discrimination. Thus, the project aims to address interrelated barriers to engaging women as active stakeholders in peacebuilding.
The project is implemented in 5 governorates in Gaza Strip (Beit Hanoun, Rafah, Al- Maghazi, Al- Nusirat, Khan Yunis), 9 governorates in the West Bank (Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqilya, Nablus, Salfeet, Ramallah, Jericho and the Jordan valley, Bethlehem, Hebron) and East Jerusalem.
The principal target group consists of 300 women and men peace activists from 30 local communities in the Gaza Strip and 9 governorates in the West Bank, and 50 female and male student leaders from 5 universities. 55 representatives of the Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC) coalition of 32 grassroots organizations will be a key focus throughout, as will be building capacity and links among women’s organizations at regional and global levels. The action will have a large-scale effect by raising awareness among a minimum of 200 persons in each of the 30 conflict-affected communities (6.000 total), students at 5 universities. The broader public will be reached by media campaigns, and will influence ongoing government and civil society engagement in the peace and security sphere and perceptions and attitudes about gender roles.
To support the conditions for a negotiated solution and provide a solid foundation at civil society and intergovernmental level for a just and lasting peace by strengthening the role of women in the oPt in peacebuilding as well as their social and political influence.
To empower marginalized, conflict-affected women in the oPt to play an active role in contributing to greater peace and security in line with UNSCR 1325 and 1820 together with men by mobilizing community peacebuilding, building civil society capacity, engaging youth and raising awareness of policy makers, opinion formers and the public.
Result 1: WATC and member organizations have sustainable capacity to empower women from conflict- affected communities and amplify their voice on issues of peace and security.
Result 2: Women from 30 conflict-affected communities have increased psychosocial well-being, confidence and skills and play an active role in mobilizing communities and contributing to greater peace and security.
Result 3: Youth are actively engaged in promoting women’s central role in contributing to greater peace and security.
Result 4: Peace activists engage with national, regional and international actors on UN1325 and advocate for improved realization.
Activities for Result 1:
1. Train WATC staff and its members on participatory action research methodology with gender and conflict sensitive approach
2. Strengthen the visibilty and presence of WATC coalition and their role as a leader on women, peace and security
3. Strengthen WATC managerial capacity related to organizational systems and processes and donor policies
4. WATC staff and member organizations support participatory action research, analysis and reporting processes in 30 communities and consolidate findings
5. WATC staff and member organizations provide ongoing monitoring and support of implementation of women, peace and security initiatives in 30 communities and exchange lessons learned
Activities for Result 2:
6. Build solidarity among women and peace activists across the oPt and create a safe space for self-expression and knowledge exchange
7. Engage men as active contributors to women, peace and security
8. Train activist groups on leadership skills, community mobilization and advocacy, participatory action research, gender and conflict sensitivity and peacebuilding
9. Support activist groups to conduct research in 30 locations and analyze community needs related to women peace and security. Present findings at three workshops at the community level
10. Support activist groups to design and implement initiatives in response to community priorities related to women, peace and security (30 initiatives)
Activities for Result 3:
11. Train selected student leaders on peacebuilding and gender equality
12. Support students to capture evidence on women, peace and security for advocacy
13. Support students to mobilize fellow students and youth in support of women, peace and security
14. Support university students to conduct public awareness campaigns and advocacy activities
Activities for Result 4:
15. Develop an advocacy report advocacy plan based on findings from community-led women, peace and security research
16. Support WATC, students and activists to take concrete advocacy messages to key decision and policy makers about strengthening commitment to 1325 and monitoring implementation
17. Engage key media personnel and forums to play a role in amplifying the voice of Palestinian women’s peace and security needs
18. Facilitate linkages between peace activists at national, regional and global levels and exchange knowledge and lessons learned
19. Conduct targeted regional and international advocacy
20. Hold closing ceremonies where activists network, exchange knowledge on community-led initiatives, present the advocacy report, celebrate their success and discuss ideas for the future