Gaza- Community Media Center
On Monday, June 28th, 2021, the Community Media Center (CMC) started the training program to develop the capabilities of Palestinian female academics as part of the project “Promoting the Culture of Respecting Women's Rights in Academic Institutions - Respect Her” in partnership with the Heinrich Böll Foundation - Palestine and Jordan (hbs). The project aims to promote the culture of respecting women's rights and gender equality in academic institutions through empowering female academics in defending their rights and raising awareness among university students and faculty on women's rights.
25 female academics from various Palestinian academic institutions in the Gaza Strip participated in the training. Andaleeb Adwan, Director of the Community Media Center, said that the Center is working through this project to ensure the completion of the institutionalization of the Palestinian Female Academic Commission (PFAC), which was established last year as part of the activities of the project “Ambassadors for Women’s Rights- Phase II”, in partnership with hbs. She also explained that the training program consists of 14 training sessions on various topics. They include capacity building on administrative skills, strategic planning, gender equality, international agreements and conventions on women’s rights, communication and negotiations skills, and networking and building alliances. She continued that the aim is to empower female academics and develop their knowledge on gender equality and women’s rights and to develop their skills and capabilities in the areas of advocacy, management and strategic planning. Adwan explains that after completing the training, the participants will take the lead in the establishment and institutionalization of PFAC that will be independent from CMC.
In cooperation PFAC, CMC had carried out a series of activities and coordination and cooperation meetings with university presidents and female academics in Gaza to introduce them to PFAC, the idea behind its establishment, and its framework. This also aimed to enhance communication and facilitate the process of dealing with the largest number of female academics regardless of whether they are affiliated with the PFAC.
In 2020, CMC issued a study on “the Reality of Female Academics in Academic Institutions in the Gaza Strip”[NA1] [RA2] . The study addressed the situation of female academics in academic institutions in Gaza, highlighting the discrimination and problems they face within those institutions. CMC also held a series of meetings and workshops on the political participation of female academics, their role in the political process, and the challenges facing their access to decision-making positions in academic institutions and in political life in general.
In parallel, CMC worked to raise students’ awareness on the rights of female academics and students in academic institutions through the implementation of a training camp targeting 25 male and female students and graduates of journalism and law departments. The camp aimed to build and develop their capacities and knowledge on gender equality, women’s rights guaranteed in local laws and international conventions, effective communication and public speaking skills, Training of Trainers (TOT) skills, and digital content creation. Since the completion of this training camp and up to mid-June 2021, the participants have prepared to facilitate 10 awareness-raising workshops on women's rights targeting 300 of their university peers, whereby 4 were implemented by the end of June 2021. Graduates of the training camp also worked under the supervision of CMC to prepare the contents of an electronic campaign to advocate for the rights of female academics and students in academic institutions, which was launched in July through social media platforms and CMC’s website. Furthermore, CMC began preparing the strategic plan for PFAC, whereby two meetings were held for two focus groups with the participation of 14 female academics. The meetings aimed to discuss and develop the vision, mission, and objectives of the strategic plan, to analyze the internal and external environments, and discuss the most significant issues and problems facing female academies that the Commission must confront.
CMC is a non-governmental organization operating in the Gaza Strip since 2007 seeking to develop the role of the media in addressing societal issues, promoting the values of democracy, equality and a culture of human rights, focusing on women and youth issues and highlighting them in various media outlets through the adoption of a rights-based approach.