Preparations Persist to Convene the Palestinian Feminist Educational Forum
In the presence of the members of the preparatory committee for the Feminist Educational Forum, which is organized by the national committee of Joussour Project, who represents in its membership a number of feminist organizations, and in the presence of a number of educators and academics, the preparatory committee continued its preparations to hold the forum by the end of the year 2012. It held its first meeting the day before yesterday at the Teacher Creativity Center in Ramallah, in the presence of representatives of the organization participating in the preparatory committee, educators and academics; the meeting stopped at the table of action: discussion and adoption of reference paper to the forum and the appeal made to activities and organizations to participate in the activities of the forum.
Mr. Omar Assaf, coordinator of the preparatory committee of the forum, emphasized that the goal of the forum is to create joint mobility between the feminist movement on one hand, and the civil and educational society on another hand in order to work in the direction of a social, feminist and educational movement that may bring about the mainstreaming of women issues in the educational curricula, official educational system and non-official educational system. Assaf added that the forum would take place over the period of three consecutive days and will focus on three main themes: Education as a Tool to Liberate Women Nationally and Socially; Equality in Education, educational strategies and women’s issues; and Future perspectives.
Mrs. Intesar Hamdan clarified, for her part, that the themes to be presented are fully integrated within the framework on each theme, such that each one will have a number of research papers presented by the participating educational and feminist organizations, in addition to social and academic activities that would enhance social responsibility towards organization and method of employment to achieve women emancipation, concentrating on education in its official context, school and curricula, future perspectives, method of employing education in order to liberate women and contemplating pioneer feminist experiences in this area.
Mr. Refaat Sabbah, General Director of the Teacher Creativity Center, emphasized the necessity for holding an opening session before the conference sessions. This opening session would determine the directions on the forum, and in it presentation of three working papers about education in society, nature of sought education, role of civil society organizations in the educational process and neoliberalism, commodification of education, and privatization of high education may take place.
Mr. Farid Murra, Lecturer at Al-Quds Open University and a member of the forum committee, said that he is relying on the forum to produce the basic backbone of a social, educational and feminist movement, contributing to development of a national strategy that would guarantee integration of women issues in education in both the official and non-official systems.
Mrs. Khitam Sa’afeen, Secretary of Union of Palestinian Women Committees, emphasized that the goal of the forum is clear and agreed upon, and comes under the title “Education as a means to liberate women nationally and socially”.
Mrs. Rima Nazzal, secretariat member of the General Union of Palestinian Women, confirmed the general nature of the forum, which opens horizons for vast participation and various energies to participate in its activities. Feminist organizations hold the most responsibility in guaranteeing largest feminist participation to eradicate attempts to prevent them from participating in the program and employ education in serving aspirations and liberation of women. For her part, Mrs. Ilham Sami, representative of Al-Najda Association for the Development of Palestinian Women, pointed out that the forum is not limited in its activities to central activities or vast conferences, but should include organization of individual activities by participating civil society organizations since it should be considered an open space.
Mr. Hassan Ladadweh, Lecturer of Sociology in Birzeit University, focused on the necessity that each of the raised issues is given its right via in-depth discussion; adding that this requires early organization of the program on one hand, and distribution of themes addressed by the forum, in addition to the presented papers within these themes over the 3-day period, such that the forum is considered a hallmark not only for convening but also for the issues to be discussed and the opportunity to allow integration of vast community sectors in order to develop and adopt tangible plans for the upcoming period.
It is worth noting that the forum will be held in Ramallah during November/2012, with expectations of participation of International Feminist Movements and representatives of World Social Forum, Alternatives International in addition to Palestinian feminist and educational organizations. The forum will include general sessions and individual sessions organized by the organizations, in addition to cultural and artistic activities.