Minister for women’s affairs explores joint action with university to advance women’s rights

Dr. Amal Hamad, the Palestinian minister for women’s affairs, discussed with the university’s president Dr. Beshara Doumani expanding cooperation with Birzeit University in a meeting held on campus on October 6, 2021.

Beshara, along with several university administrators, discussed with the minister the prospects of jointly forming a team of experts to help change the prevailing discourse on, and representations of, women in the Palestinian community, in addition to advocating for women’s rights to equal education.

Attending the meeting were Dr. Ghassan Khatib, Birzeit University’s vice president for advancement; Dr. Rana Khatib, the vice president for planning and development; Dr. Lourd Habash, the vice president for community affairs; Anan Atteereh, the acting dean of student affairs; Amin Asi, director of the planning and policy unit at the Ministry of 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 the meeting, Doumani stressed the university’s commitment to empowering Palestinian women through academic programs and training courses offered by the university’s nine faculties and 11 institutes and centers. Expanding cooperation with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, said Doumani, is part and parcel of the university’s social responsibility.

Doumani noted that both the university and the ministry aspire for a Palestinian community based on equality. “Our visions are aligned. We aspire to work together to empower our community and contribute to diversity therein,” he said.

Hamad, an alumna of Birzeit University, said that her experience as an undergrad  shaped her vision of the type of community that Palestinians should aspire to have in the future. “My experience at Birzeit University has always empowered my belief in national and societal values,” she explained. “We believe that this university is the right source for creating social change, especially in gender issues.”

Hamad reaffirmed the ministry’s vision to bolster the participation of women in all aspects of public life, noting that teams of employees and experts are working on raising the voices of Palestinian women through the ministry’s social media platforms and using them as public stages that can aid in raising public awareness on key issues regarding women’s rights.