30.04.2023, Gaza - The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development - REFORM organised its first learning journey titled "Youth Political Participation in Palestine and it's Legal Framework". The learning journey was attended by 18 participants (10 males, 8 females) in Gaza from the "United in Diversity IIII" project. The objective of the activity was to increase knowledge and general practices about youth political participation in Palestine, with a focus on explaining the general concepts and basic practices of political participation. In addition, the participants were introduced to the legal framework for project participants.

The learning journey focused on teaching the participants a number of values governing the work and participation of youth in society and political life. This was done with the emphasis to enhance the role of Palestinian youth and their participation in decisions related to social and political life. The training included theoretical material that shed light on the most important knowledge and information necessary for the mechanisms, forms and stages of youth participation in public affairs.

Participant Warda Al-Derimli said that this meeting provided her with new information and knowledge about the legal frameworks for political participation and their mechanisms. This made her more capable, even in a small manner, in understanding the Palestinian public affairs in political life. This would give her and others greater opportunities to enhance the role of youth, especially women, in political life and have an impact.

The trainer of the learning journey, Dr. Hani Talab, emphasised the importance of raising awareness about enhancing the role of Palestinian youth and their participation in critical decisions in social and political life so that they can form the cornerstone in activating their role in society. Equipping young people with basic information and knowledge is the first step in improving the reality of youth and girls' participation in decision-making processes, followed by the skills and mechanisms that will enhance and activate theoretical knowledge and information. Hence, the importance of the project is shown by providing knowledge, skills and opportunities for practice.

It is worth mentioning that this activity is part of the "United in Diversity IIII" project implemented by the Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development - REFORM in partnership with Norwegian People's Aid (NPA), with the aim of improving the reality of youth and girls' participation in decision-making processes through monitoring the plans and policies of official institutions and holding local bodies accountable for general policies that lead to increased youth participation in public life. The project aims to promote the values of good governance and transparency in the work of local institutions and to introduce policymakers to citizens' rights and needs. The project will work to enhance the capacity of the targeted individuals through the use of the Facilitating REFORM participatory facilitation methodology, and to develop their skills in holding decision-makers accountable. This monitors the extent to which public policies respond to the needs of local communities through meetings with decision-makers, filming accountability taxis and a number of hearing sessions with politicians and influencers in a number of government ministries, local institutions and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.

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