Young Women's Parliament
Young Women's Parliament
The Young Women's Parliament (YWP) aims to construct a bridge over divergent backgrounds by:
- Developing tolerance and compassion among groups of young women from divergent backgrounds (ethnic, cultural, religious, national, educational, socio-economic, etc.) through common activities.
- Encouraging friendship between distanced groups of girls (especially among Jewish and Arab girls), challenging the stereotypes and hostility among them.
- Encouraging ongoing interactive discussions among young Jewish and Arab women on both the local and national levels
YWP aims to share gender issues by:
- Raising gender awareness among young women and expanding the circles of women involved in feminist thinking and actvisim in Israel
- Inspiring critical thinking of young women with regard to social and political issues in general and gender-related issues in particular
- Encouraging young women's involvement in initiatives aimed at Jewish-Arab partnerships
YWP aims to encourage young women's leadership by:
- Establishing an active social-feminist movement of Jewish and Arab girls; and
- Empowering young women to stand up for their rights
The YWP is based on the activities of 12 local groups, half Jewish and half Arab, led by experienced facilitators. 3-4 all-participants' events in Jewish and Arab localities and a 2-day seminar are held annually with an estimated 200 high-school girls participating. Two coordinators, one Jewish and one Arab lead the all-participants' events and are responsible for instructing the local facilitators. Since its establishment in 2010, there have been 15 gatherings of hundreds of Jewish and Arab high school girls from around the country (two of which took place at the Knesset) and two seminars of leadership training and social activities. Activities include: group discussions, panel debates, workshops, outdoor activities, community involvement, watching and discussing films relevant to the girls' lives and to wider social and political issues, etc.
The main partnership of the program is with local Jewish and Arab municipalities through intensive cooperation with the mayor's advisers on women's issues. This partnership entails planning and organizing events with full cooperation of local officials in the youth, education, and welfare departments. High schools are also significant partners in recruiting the participants, providing the venue and in organizing all-groups' events. The collaboration with the local municipalities and the schools provides the program with venues, various facilities, equipment and refreshments and, in the long run, it ensures the assimilation of the program's objectives and its sustainability in the local establishment.
The US embassy is another important partner. Besides monitoring the program, the embassy and its employees contribute to its activities in various ways including: advising the administrative manager with regard to the budget, offering the embassy's venue and technical assistance for activities (such as video conference among girls from the program and girls in the US), and providing workshops and lectures by prominent American figures.
YWP also partners with various women's organizations depending on the topic and on the local connections of the groups' facilitators.