An all women parliamentary group ‘By participating, We can’, will be running in the first municipal elections in Hebron since 1967 following a gradual shift towards female political empowerment in Palestine. The vote is set for October 20.
Registration to run in municipal elections ended at midnight Tuesday and six blocs submitted lists to run in Hebron with the women-only bloc running against lists from Fatah, leftist factions, the Palestinian National Initiative and independents, according to Maan news.
Maysoon Qawasmi, a journalist for the Palestinian news agency Wafa, which also holds training sessions to empower Palestinian women in the West Bank heads the group. Maysoon tells AP that in traditional Palestine women stay at home or do tradiitonal jobs like teaching if they work . “But we want them to go further, to work like men in all possible jobs they can, ” the 43-year old woman added.
In fact, in the West Bank just 16 per cent of women are employed, and in Hebron this falls to a meager 10 per cent.If the group are elected she has vowed to open women-only sports clubs and other facilities that are sure to be poorly received by many of Hebron’s conservative Muslims, she tells the Associated Press. The Oct. 20 vote will be the first municipal elections in 35 years, and nearly 60,000 residents are eligible to vote for 15 seats in the council.