In the context of Al Mezan ongoing efforts to promote democratic values and human rights culture, on Monday, 9 May 2016, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Al Mezan), in collaboration with the Central Elections Commission, opened a workshop entitled “Elections: Gateway to Renew Legality and Legitimacy of the Political System”. The workshop was held at Rural Women's Development Society (RWDS) in Deir Al Balah, and targeted members of civil society, special needs individuals, senior citizens, and women.
Basem Abu Jrai, representative of Al Mezan, opened the workshop by welcoming the participants. He gave an overview of Al Mezan’s work in promoting and defending human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), and talked about the overall situation in the oPt and violations of human rights.
He also discussed the significance of elections as a cornerstone of any democratic system and the main grantor of its legitimacy and stability. He also stated that elections offer the widest participation opportunity for people to engage in the political process and decision making by electing their own representatives. The workshop had constructive discussions and the participants raised important questions regarding periodic elections and voters’ participation.
In conclusion, Souhir Abu Amra, director of the RWDS, thanked Al Mezan for organizing this workshop and paying particular attention to people with disabilities and senior citizens. She also promised to constantly collaborate with Al Mezan to hold regular meetings and workshops.
Abu Jrai thanked the participants for their commitment and interaction. He also thanked the RWDS for this opportunity, and promised to collaborate further to promote the principles of human rights.
Through this awareness-raising campaign, Al Mezan seeks to raise awareness about elections as a fundamental part of human rights and a safeguard for many other rights. Therefore, Al Mezan is employing own experience and competence to reach out to members of civil society and marginalized groups through capacity building and awareness raising activities.