Qadirat.. The first women’s list to break the Palestinian elections quota

“Qadirat” list began its social responsibility on the ground, transferring more than 80% of the costs of its advertising campaign to the benefit of the village’s schools and to support people of determination (disabilities) and needy families.

Jenin- With a mosaic face embroidered in the colors of the Palestinian heritage and with eyes staring at the horizon, the slogan “Qadirat” appears. As for the electoral number, it is 6, and the vision is 6 out of 6 for the “Qadirat” women’s list nominated for the local council elections in the town of Burqin near Jenin (northern West Bank) whose phase is to be held The first is on the 11th of December.

Qadirat is unique in that it is the first and only one in Palestine that is going through the experience of electing local bodies with a list that is purely women and independent of men, in an attempt to impose itself on the ground, and change a reality that is moving towards excluding it from this role or placing it behind in the candidate electoral lists.

Saba Khalouf is a candidate for the Qadirat List and holds the electoral number 4 (Al-Jazeera)

Partnership and the traditional equation

Saba Khalouf is one of 8 women who decided to run for the Burqin municipality elections, and to change the traditional equation that sees women as complementary to the elections, not as partners and decided in them, as an important and active part of society, and they must provide services to the public as they see fit.

Khalouf, 37, who holds a master’s degree in geographic information systems, says – in her speech to Al-Jazeera Net – that she decided to run in these elections under the wing of “Qadirat” as a new and only thing aimed at enhancing the role of women and emphasizing their ability to develop and build, “and most importantly change the traditional quota equation that makes Women are at the bottom of the electoral lists.

Khalouf, the holder of the number 4 in “Ables”, presents herself and the others as women who are really capable of changing and correcting the old, and working in partnership with the man and not in isolation from him. And to share it.

And she, as a mother of 5 children, sees herself, as well as other women, that they are really initiatives, and this is evidenced by her “Burqin 20-40” initiative, which she launched recently to advance the town of Burqin and enhance the role of women in it.

Saba and her colleagues carried a great news that they presented publicly in their press conference with the aim of advancing their town Burqin through the application of the local authorities law and the powers of the local council, as well as the development of education and service projects, especially health related to people with disabilities, and attracting and motivating young people.

Atef Douglas-Ranad Abbas, the candidate in the Qadirat list, with her family and husband- West Bank- Jenin- BurqinRenad Abbas (second from the right), a candidate in the “Qadirat” list, with her husband and her family (Al-Jazeera)

family support

Like Khalouf, the candidate, Randad Abbas (Umm Ahmed), considers herself a partner with the man in these elections, and is not afraid of the results. She considers herself “supportive” of the idea, and that her mere candidacy gained her knowledge of the elections and their laws and boosted her self-confidence, “and this is a victory in itself.”

From her mother’s experience as a member of a local council in the municipality of “Yabd” (adjacent to the village of Burqin), the candidate Abbas (45 years old) drew her determination, as well as the support of her children and husband, and she tells Al Jazeera Net that she holds high university degrees and did not get her right to a job, which is why she seeks to prove herself and serve her community .

Prior to this participation, Abbas was not active in any women’s activity in the village, and this made her insist on running in the elections, “even with the honor of trying,” she says, adding that this would constitute a launch for her to advance the Barqin woman who, like other Palestinian women, face many challenges, the most important of which is regarding the method of her candidacy and the lack of Surrender to what the party and the family want, calling on women in the rest of the provinces to follow their example in “Qadirat”.

- Burqin town is running for local council elections with 6 lists, and it has a list of women only - capableThe town of Burqin is running for local council elections with 6 lists and is unique with a list of women only (Al-Jazeera)

The idea of ​​”capabilities”

And the town of Burqin, which has a population of 8000 people, in which 6 electoral lists ran, and some women were included according to the quota system (one or more women in the list).
Burqin is one of the 154 Palestinian local councils (towns) that will participate in this session by election through the list system, while another 162 (towns) bodies ran for one list and won by acclamation.

The number of female candidates in all the accepted lists was 1551, or 25.9 percent of the total number of candidates, which amounted to 5,978, and 9 lists headed by a female candidate.

The idea of ​​”Qadirat” came out to the public and was implemented only a week before the opening of registration for candidacy, and the list was modified 18 times before it came out with the current composition, as a result of the withdrawal for reasons, some of which were related to the family and others to wrong societal interpretations.

Women are not decorative

Abdul Basit Khalaf, an activist in women’s issues and the media coordinator of “Qadirat”, says that the women’s list in this way is a protest against the literal application of the traditional quota, and an attempt to change this stereotypical scene. .

Khalaf stresses that the idea is not against the man, but rather an invitation to participate; The Palestinian woman is the partner of the man in the struggle, so it is assumed that she will be the same in construction and accountability, and Khalaf adds to Al Jazeera Net that “capables” overcame many societal obstacles and challenges and imposed themselves, “and it is remarkable that some men encouraged and supported their wives for this.”

“Qadirat” is distinguished by the diversity of the female candidates’ age (between 30 and 75 years), their educational attainment, their culture and their social roles. It started and won’t stop because of “aftershocks,” he says.

Atef Douglas - Asmaa Abu Al-Rub, representative of the Women's Labor Union in Jenin - West Bank - Jenin -Asmaa Al-Kilani: The experience of “Ables” is a positive response for women to be in advanced positions in the lists (Al-Jazeera)

women’s origin

The most important challenge faced by “Qadirat” – explains Khalaf – is the acceptance of the different other, in reference to the role of women, which does not enjoy prestige or appreciation, but is pursued and chased, wishing to be “capable” in every village and gathering, but not in the form of 9 men versus two women, but rather Participation in a larger number and in the first sites.

Asmaa Al-Kilani, representative of the Palestinian Women’s Action Union, says that Qadirat’s experience is a “positive response” to the retreat from what was agreed upon in a charter between the factions and organizations, that women should be in advanced positions in the lists, especially since women are partners in the national struggle, so they should not retreat at the level social.

She adds to Al Jazeera Net that women are authentic in Palestinian society, and they may not be bypassed, even if it requires the formation of women’s lists such as “capable”, or “calling women to disobey and not participate in the elections in the first place.”

Qadirat began its social responsibility on the ground, diverting more than 80% of the costs of its advertising campaign to the benefit of the village’s schools and to support people of determination (disabilities) and needy families.

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