Women's Affairs Technical Committee (WATC)

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March 15, 2012

Women's Affairs Technical Committee (WATC), WLP’s partner organization in Palestine, was established in 1992 as a coalition founded to support women’s roles in peace negotiations and to facilitate gender mainstreaming throughout government bodies and public policies.

 

WATC is comprised of seven women’s organizations, three women’s centers, and individuals, who work to eliminate discrimination against women and to empower women to assume decision-making positions at all levels of society with a focus on marginalized, rural-dwelling, and refugee women. Over the years, the nature of WATC’s work has shifted and the relationships among the Committee members have matured, resulting in a full partnership that embraces the complete agenda of the Palestinian women's movement. WATC achieves its objectives by implementing leadership training workshops using WLP’s Leading to Choices curriculum, networking, campaigning, and maintaining an educational media presence.

WATC's current strategic objectives include removing barriers to leadership positions and reducing gender-based discrimination in legislation and social practices.

WATC’s Vision and Goals

WATC pursues the following program goals and objectives to realize its vision of creating a diverse and democratic society that respects human rights, where all people live in dignity and security, free of all forms of discrimination:

  • Develop the skills and competencies of women to reach decision-making positions at all levels
  • Develop the capacity of WATC’s member organizations
  • Improve the level of coordination and networking among WATC members and other civil society
  • organizations to increase support for women's rights
  • Ensure women-friendly legislation, laws, policies and programs
  • Identify and nurture exceptional and talented women; support their initiatives
  • Raise awareness of women's issues and rights; dismantle negative stereotypes of women

WATC’s Programs

WATC implements several programs throughout Gaza and the West Bank:

  1. Lobbying and Advocacy: Since its founding, WATC continues to introduce amendments and propose new articles relevant to human rights. Through coordinating and networking with other human rights and women’s rights organizations, WATC has supported laws on elections, education, family, marital status, and civil status.
  2. Empowerment: Since 1995, WATC has been working to build the capacity of both professional and rural-dwelling Palestinian women. Through its Sanabel Project, WATC supports women living in rural areas through its advocacy and consciousness-raising activities and by implementing leadership training workshops using WLP’s Leading to Choices curriculum. WATC provides limited financial and organizational development support.
  3. Young Leaders: Established in 1997, this program empowers youth to participate in lobbying and advocacy campaigns, through the implementation of trainings for both young women and men.
  4. Media and Community Awareness: In 1994, WATC began its media and consciousness-raising program, which aims to raise community awareness of Palestinian women’s rights and WATC campaigns through the use of visual media, radio programs, and WATC’s bimonthly newspaper, “Voice of Women,” of which more than 23,000 copies are distributed through the Palestinian daily paper, “El Ayam.”
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