The Jerusalemite Women Forum (JWF), one of Madaa Creative Center (MCC)’s women program, concluded its activities for the year 2021, the activities included reading club meetings, awareness raising workshops and networking, an intensive course on “advocacy, lobbying and leadership” as well as a women awareness and cultural camp.
The (JWF) was established by MCC in the year 2020 and currently includes more than (60 women) who are leaders and social activists from across Jerusalemite towns (Silwan, Ras Al-‘Amoud, Al-Essawyeh, Al-Tur and Jabal Al-Mukaber), with the aim to provide a safe space for activists to express their views, opinions and ambitions, to exchange experiences and discuss issues that are most relevant to them as Palestinians and Jerusalemite activists, in addition to enhancing partnership and networking among activist women groups in Jerusalem, raising their awareness and providing them with necessary tools to achieve social justice.
The forum is held under MCC’s project “Towards enhancing the voice of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem” in partnership with Heinrich boll institution- Palestine and Jordan’s Office; the project aims to empower leader and activist women on a political, social, legal and cultural level, in addition to providing a safe space for them that helps them to overcome the challenges they face daily and to enhance self-confidence.
Several activities were implemented under the (JWF) for the year 2021 including holding (15) reading club meetings through which the participants were able to analyze texts, take part in critical analysis and discussion of political and social books and novels. Additionally, several workshops and experience exchange visits were held as part of the forum with the aim to build the group and promote networking efforts towards drafting a code of conduct for the forum for the next two years.
Furthermore, a number of the forum members (18 women) participated in an intensive (40) training hours on (advocacy, lobbying and leadership) during July and August 2021 held with the trainer Mr.Khalil Abu Khadejah. As part of the outputs of the training, the participants drafted a proposal and a work plan for a social campaign to raise awareness on the issue of early marriage in Jerusalem that is planned to be implemented during the year 2022. The participants presented the idea of the campaign during the women camp “Jerusalemites for Change” in front of the (JWF) members.
As for the women camp “Jerusalemites for Change”, it was held for (5) days during October 2021 at the club, one of Madaa’s branches in Silwan, with the participation of more than (50) Jerusalemite women activists and leaders. The camp included several social and awareness raising through legal and social workshops on women rights and their effective and important role in society, while focusing on the issue of early marriage in Jerusalem and how to reduce it.
The camp activities also included organizing an exchange field trip to (Tal Rmaideh) in Hebron where members of the (JWF) were able to meet with female activists from the (Karamati) group; during the visit they exchanged their experiences and stories about the challenges they face as women in Jerusalem and Hebron, and the mechanisms that they use to support each other and their societies.
Voices from members of the (JWF):
On the last day of the “Jerusalemite for Change” camp, Ms.Ayda Al-Risheq emphasized the role of women in their societies and the effective role of Madaa Creative Center (MCC) in the Jerusalemite society;
“MCC supports us as women on many levels, on the psychosocial, legal and cultural level. It provides opportunities and answers to our questions through offering courses, trainings and workshops that are beneficial and relevant to the needs of individuals and the family in our society. Today, we are in a good position as women in Jerusalem; we are more capable and we are to depend on ourselves socially and economically due to the knowledge, skills and experience that we have gained following our participation in the center’s courses, programs and activities. I’m also able to pass this knowledge and skills to my fellow women, to my children, my family and society.
That is why the advocacy and lobbying course is very important in acquiring the skills needed to be part of solutions to the problems we need to address. To do this we need to cooperate to take practical measures and to reach out to the society”.
A live video of Ms.Al-Risheq’s feedback and her words: https://fb.watch/97EP4NqmbW/
Photos of the closing ceremony to the camp: https://www.facebook.com/MadaaSilwan/posts/5136609116365707