SHUFUNA – Palestinian Women in Reconciliation and Political Participation

Participants in one of the workshops held in Gaza


Project Summary

Women in the State of Palestine have been an integral part of the Palestinian struggle for statehood. However, Palestinian women continue to be very much under-represented in decision making positions both in the public and private sectors. This is further amplified that Palestinian women, and especially Gaza, have been largely excluded from formal dialogue efforts to end the political division. Their voices and concerns have neither been heard nor included in the various reconciliation talks held and agreements reached since 2005. Reasons for the absence of women in these processes in the particular case of the state of Palestine are multiple. A combination of political, geographical, and social factors impede the ability of Palestinian women to engage in political activism. In addition, the ongoing occupation significantly impacts women’s effective participation in transitional justice and peace processes.

The project, which is implemented by UNDP in partnership with MIFTAH (The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy) and WATTAN media network, will take a new approach that will remove the veil of invisibility that women have had to endure for the past 25 years. Through SHUFUNA (SEE US), the project will focus on using multiple tools that will effectively call out decision makers to take the necessary steps to change the status quo and increase women’s participation. SHUFUNA is an innovative multi-sectoral platform of women and men who are striving to be transformational change-makers.

Accomplishments and Progress

  • Over 800,000 individuals were reached through a multi-media campaign launching SHUFUNA.
  • SHUFUNA, through Wattan media network, reached more than one million viewers through tv, radio, news reports and online surveys.
  • Two SHUFUNA radio spots, electronic banners, and pop-ups were broadcasted through the Wattan Media Network.
  • Two online surveys were conducted:  
    - First Survey: 64% of 4,750 respondents did not believe that women participation in negotiations for reconciliation will lead to better results, while 34% believed they should. The survey reached 94,164 people and had 6,280 engagements on social media. 1143 voted through Wattan website and 3,300 voted through Wattan Facebook page. Results were published through a press releases and sent SMS message to more than 25,000 participants in Wattan SMS news service.
    - Second survey: 53% did not believe that women representation in the political decision-making position will expand if the elections were held, 47% voted yes. Unfortunately, only 239 voted through Facebook page and 1931 voted through Wattan website. The interaction on Facebook was limited and bound by online policies related to elections.
    - Third Survey: 60% were not satisfied with Palestinian women representation in political life, 40% were satisfied. The survey reached 45,692 people and 6,064 voted through Facebook and Wattan Website.
  • Eleven “Weekend Solutions” workshops in the West Bank and Gaza were held that encompassed of 254 participants (165 women and 89 men) from a multitude of socio-economic, as well as political backgrounds, who were tasked with analysing the current context and devising alternative solutions to increase women participation and representation.
  • Through the “Weekend Solutions” workshops, 34 initiatives were identified by the various groups, of which 10 were selected for implementation by the joint SHUFUNA Platform.
  • SHUFUNA conducted four validation workshops for SHUFUNA strategy (two days with SHUFUNA participants, and another two with the stakeholders) in November 2019, in both Gaza and West Bank.
  • The SHUFUNA multi-sectoral platform was established. The platform will be responsible for implementing the initiatives, conducting town hall meetings, and holding decision makers accountable.
Geographic Coverage: West Bank and Gaza Strip
Partners: Wattan News Agency, Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH), and Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
Sustainable Development Goal/s: Gender Equality,Reduced Inequalities,Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Project Manager: Nader Atta, Programme Analyst, Tel: 00972-0548173956,
Maha Abusamra, Project Manager, Tel:00972-0598919774, maha.abusamra@undp.og
Other Documents: Project Fact Sheet