The roles of women as community leaders, peacebuilders and activists can no longer be denied in Palestine. Wi’am recognizes the urgent need to engage women in community issues and empower their leadership roles at both the domestic and societal levels. Our Women’s Group works for gender equality and the abolition of all forms of oppression through empowering and mobilizing women to participate in social, cultural, and political spheres. As they identify and embrace their own strengths, women also strengthen their families and their communities.
“Women are not only victims in conflict, but agents for positive change.” – Asha Hagi Elmi Amin, UN Security Council 2009, Resolution 1889
Wi’am Women’s Club:
Wi’am hosts weekly meetings that bring together women of all ages for mutual support, education, recreation, and creative activities. Drawing on the resources of the Center as well as the resources each woman can offer, women are encouraged to focus on the gifts they have within themselves. Women engage in classes and activities involving drama, computer skills, craft projects and creative arts, as well as workshops in the fields of the democratic process, civil society development, reproductive health, gender equality, non-violence, conflict mediation, and domestic violence.
Advocacy in Civil Society:
Our women’s group networks with 17 women’s organizations in the Bethlehem governorate that advocate for gender rights and women’s issues. This wider women’s network meets to plan activities, advocacy campaigns, and solidarity activities in different areas of Bethlehem. We coordinate with the Ministry of Strategic Planning, Women’s Ministry, and Youth High Council to participate in strategic planning for empowering women, youth, and children. We plan advocacy campaigns to influence micro and macro change in Bethlehem. We also invite key governmental persons to discuss with us their policies and strategies to advocate for social change for women.
Testimonials from Participants:
“The [Wi’am women’s group] project is considered to be the first to shed light on depriving women from their right of inheritance in the Palestinian society…it’s really important to raise our awareness on women rights.” – Eman from Nablus
“The legal consultation sessions were a great opportunity for me, raising my awareness on different topics and laws.” – Laurette
“After the death of my husband, all the inheritance is divided among my husband’s family. As the ownership is under my husband’s name, they denied me any inheritance rights….. They are depriving me of my legitimate share. But, when I heard about the legal and empowerment work that Wi’am is doing for other women in the neighborhood, I decided to seek their support. They provided me with legal counseling which opened my eyes to different tracks of filing a lawsuit and follow[ing] it up in the courts….. I’m confident that the legitimacy of my case will be rewarded in the courts with [a] yes verdict in favor of retrieving my lawful rights….” – A Study Circle Participant