In visit to campus, minister for women’s affairs explores joint action with university centers and institutes

Amal Hamad, the Palestinian minister for women’s affairs, discussed expanding cooperation with the university’s centers and institutes in a meeting with Birzeit University’s president Abdullatif Abuhijleh on Thursday, September 12, 2019. 

Attending the meeting were Nibal Thawabteh, director of Birzeit University’s Media Development Center (MDC); Nahed Abu Taimeh, the MDC’s gender unit coordinator; Buthayna Alsemeiri, the MDC's projects manager; Rand Janho, office director of the minister for women’s affairs; Majida Ma’rouf, head of the ministry’s media and public relations unit; Nihaya Terawi, director of the ministry’s media department; and the ministry’s protocol officer Rula Fawadla. 

In his welcoming remarks, Abuhijleh highlighted Birzeit University’s community engagement efforts, noting that the programs, workshops, seminars, and lectures offered by the university’s 11 institutes and centers play a significant role in developing and building the capacities of the Palestinian community. 

Abuhijleh stressed the university’s commitment towards empowering Palestinian women who constitute 62 percent of the student body, 31 percent of the faculty, and 44 percent of the university’s administrative staff. 

Abuhijleh also praised the Leadership and Active Citizenship Program “Masari” for its unique focus on shaping Birzeit University students into the future leaders of the Palestinian community. He especially lauded the program’s third-year stations, Social Entrepreneurship, in which students and Palestinian institutions work together to find sustainable solutions to societal and community issues. 

Hamad, who graduated from Birzeit University, applauded its emphasis on democratic values such as the freedom of thought and expression, saying that the university’s campus serves as a melting pot for Palestinians from all backgrounds and beliefs. 

Along with Abuhijleh and the attending university personnel, Hamad explored the possibilities of organizing joint projects and initiatives that would bolster female representation in all aspects of public life. Such initiatives, she noted, are part of a larger collaboration strategy pursued by the ministry of women’s affairs, the ministry of higher education, and Palestinian universities. 

After the meeting, Hamad visited the MDC’s headquarters where she and the center’s staff discussed gender-sensitive media policies that would guarantee fair and balanced media coverage and promote gender equality in all forms of media.