About Engaging Women for Change

The Parents Circle’s Women’s Group was born out of a need to express the voice of the women in our organization. Its aim is to equip women from both sides of the conflict to acquire an authoritative voice and a real say in any future reconciliation process. The group was formed by some 20 women and has grown to more than 150 women.

Bereaved women pay the highest price of the conflict, and are seldom consulted in the decision to go to war, to have a cease fire, or to sign any peace agreements. Their experience highlights the sanctity of human life across the divide, and they have an important role to play in peacebuilding. However, as more women joined the PCFF Women’s Group and in light of the deteriorating social and political atmosphere in Israel and Palestine, the Parents Circle’s female members have expressed their desire to increase their leadership, dialogue, and peacebuilding capacities, in order to create a change in the public sphere.

Your Support Goes To

Contributions support the Engaging Women for Change program, a Women’s Group initiative. This program has a two-pronged approach to gender-based peacebuilding:

The program engages bereaved women, from both sides of the conflict, in workshops focused on reconciliation, including bi-national and uni-national sessions.

Examples of topics addressed:
    • Personal and group identities
    • Relationships and power dynamics
    • Understanding the context and experiences that shape perceptions, beliefs, and behavior in times of conflict
    • The roles women play in conflict resolution
    • Training in facilitation and story-telling

Additional training activities include:
    • Group visits to sites of historical and current conflict in Israel and Palestine
    • Research projects on conflict resolution topics of participants choosing
Trainings are led by conflict resolution specialists.

Bereaved Israeli and Palestinian women co-lead and co-facilitate Dialogue Meetings by describing their personal loss and their choice of reconciliation and non-violence.

Attendees then participate in a facilitated discussion, including:

    • Personal narrative
    • A questions and answers period
    • Open discussion: Participants discuss their expectations, fears, as well as views towards peace and reconciliation
    • Feedback and evaluation of the program
Professional translation services are used to allow for a fluent and meaningful discussion

Women's Group Activities

The PCFF Women’s Group Program aims to:

  • Strengthen the relations among, and the joint work of, bereaved Palestinian and Israeli women by creating a space for discourse and establishing strategies to deal with disagreements and charged issues.
  • Build the capacities of bereaved Israeli and Palestinian women for public outreach by engaging in a knowledge-based and emotional process of reconciliation and leadership.
  • Provide tools and skills needed for facilitation.
  • Promote the personal buy-in of each bereaved member of the group to the ideas of reconciliation and peace.

An evaluation of a 2017 Women’s Group program showed the following results among participants: 

  • 85% reported they feel confident in assuming leading roles in PCFF peace-building initiatives.
  • 76% of the women joined the existing cadre of PCFF facilitators.
  • 78% felt more hopeful about the possibility of peace.
  • 82% increased their empathy and knowledge of the “other’s” point of view.
  • 72% desired to take part in ending the conflict through reconciliation activities.

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