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Official PA daily reports significant setback in number of women running for election

Headline: “The parties marginalize the role of women in political participation”
     “The millions of dollars that the women’s associations, centers for defending women’s rights, and party activists are transferring have not achieved advancement towards strengthening the role of women in political participation, as the presence of women on the lists of candidates for local elections has suffered a substantial setback compared to previous elections. If not for the law requiring the presence of women in one of [both] the first five and the first nine spots, it is possible that women would not appear on the lists at all. This matter raises a long list of speculations regarding this marginalization of women, even by the parties that pretend to protect women’s rights and wave the slogan of strengthening their political participation - which might have contributed to this setback after they (i.e., the parties) threw themselves into the arms of the tribes - and raises additional speculations regarding the role of the women’s associations and the activists running them in the defense of women and their right to participate [in elections]. Women appeared on most of the candidate lists only because it is required by law, and women do not appear in the first spot on any of the major cities’ lists, except for one list in Nablus. There is a woman in the second spot on another list in the same city, and in the first spot on one of the lists in Gaza City. In Ramallah there is a woman in the third spot on two lists, and in Tubas on one list out of eight. In Jericho there is a woman in the third position on only one list, and that is also how it is in Hebron. On the other lists, women are generally found in the fifth and ninth spots, as they are the positions guaranteed to them by law. Likewise, the rate of women contending in the elections is lower than the previous time, when it reached 25%.

Democratic Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] (DFLP) political bureau member and activist for the cause of defending women’s rights Majida Al-Masri expressed her shock over the spots achieved by women on the candidate lists, and the fact that the matter had reached the point that on some of the lists posted on social media the female candidates’ names were concealed, and the father or husband’s name was placed instead of her name…

According to Al-Masri, it is possible that the rate of the setback in the presence of women [on candidate lists] will reach 30%, and she emphasized that this setback is completely inconsistent with the development that has occurred in the role of women in the Palestinian arena on all levels. She added: ‘We expected a greater presence than previous times, but the result was very surprising, and the tribal aspect has taken over the lists.’”