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First Campaign of the Baader Youth Network on Strengthening Women’s Rights Launched Successfully

On March 22nd, 2008 the Baader Youth Network (BYN) launched successfully its first campaign to strengthen women's rights and their role in Palestinian society. The event titled "Palestine Prospers through Women’s Contribution” took place at Birzeit University near Ramallah.

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The Baader Youth Network is a joint initiative of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation Ramallah and the International Peace and Cooperation Center (IPCC) Jerusalem. The project's objectives include the promotion of the youth's role in the democratic process, the development of skills of future leaders and the fight against gender barriers in order to facilitate the buildup of a pluralistic and viable Palestinian civil society.

Within the framework of this project, the first of two planned campaigns now took place at Palestinian Universities. These events aimed at strengthening women's rights as well as supporting the role of women within Palestinian Society.

The Baader Youth Network is funded within the frame of the "Empowering Democracy" program conducted by the German Foreign Office.

The Governor of Ramallah, Dr. Said Abu Ali, inaugurated the event by delivering a speech in which he emphasized the fundamental importance of the youth and of women in particular for the establishment of a viable and efficient Palestinian civil society.

Dr. Najat Bakir, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (Fatah), gave a lecture on "Obstacles faced by Working Women in the Palestinian Society: How to Develop the Women’s Role". She spoke to 300 interested listeners about the role of Palestinian women in society and referred, among other things, to the willingness of Palestinian society to grant women influential positions in politically and socially relevant fields of work.

In addition, she underlined the great importance of youth in general. Dr. Bakir stated that youth are the hope for the future. Therefore, young people must be given an education which builds awareness in matters regarding women and their equality within society. According to Dr. Bakir, today's youth is the decisive social factor which can impose changes on tomorrow’s social reality.

She also pointed out a couple of shortcomings regarding the legislation in the women and youth sector. The Palestinian Legislative Council missed, for instance, to enact new laws concerning the protection of women's rights. In addition, there are currently no explicit laws and penalties against drug abuse, either.

The informative and interesting event was enriched by entertaining performances of Palestinian artist groups. The members of the Baader Youth Network as well as the numerous guests enjoyed a sketch of the Halhoul Group from Hebron and the performance of a Dabkeh dance by the Taghareed Group from the Nablus governorate.

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