Researchers Urged To Adopt Postgraduate Programs On Women's Studies and Laws

10 - Oct - 2020

 The Women's Studies Center at the Islamic University of Gaza continued the actions of the First International Conference, which held within 7-8 of Oct, 2020 via the Zoom. The second day of the conference contained two scientific sessions with (10) papers additionally to the ultimate recommendation session.

The first session of the second day was led by Prof. Aida Saleh from Al-Aqsa University, in which it highlighted the topic of "women and leadership positions in higher education institutions". The sessions hosted Prof. Seham Al-Qaderi from Qatar University. The other participants in this session shed lights on the following titles: Soft skills needed female faculty members to hold leadership positions in Palestinian universities. Challenges facing Palestinian women in assuming leadership positions in higher education intuitions. Psychological and social challenges facing female administrative staff in higher education institutions and how to deal with them. Change practices among leadership of higher education institutions to improve performance of Palestinian women. The Role of Palestinian universities in the southern governorates in developing women leadership skills.   

The second session was moderated by Dr. Islah Jad from Berziet University, in which it concentrated on "Challenges that women face in higher education institutions and ways to deal with them". The other participants presented about the following titles: Reasons for female students' reluctance to major in Mathematics in Palestinian Universities. Attitudes for female academics towards co-education in higher education institutions. Life pressures and their relationships to achievement motivation for women working in Palestinian universities. Gender-based obstacles facing filed training female students at the faculty of education and ways to overcome them. Coping strategies for married female students at the Islamic University of Gaza and ways to activate them.

Recommendation Session  

Researchers recommended developing a clear methodology and specific mechanisms to bring about changes for supporting and empowering women in higher education institutions, in cooperation with official bodies, civil society organizations, human rights organizations and related Islamic and international bodies. In addition, the participants stressed the importance of including women's issues and related laws in the educational curricula of the higher education institutions in order to change the stereotype of society regarding women and their rights and roles. They also pointed out the necessity of developing university requirements' courses that include women's issues and rights; these courses should play a key role in preparing university students and raising their awareness. On this regard, participants presented a bile of successful experiences of Palestinian women who blossomed in all occupations: socio-economic, professional, cultural and political.  

Participants stressed the need for higher education institutions to adopt concepts of administrative empowerment of working women. This empowerment can be achieved through continuous professional development, increasing women's representation in decision-making positions in higher education institutions as well as adopting obvious criteria for selecting academic leaders that own soft skills.

One of recommendations the participants urged for is to provide adequate support to female academics after obtaining doctorates that is to enhance their chances for reaching senior leadership positions. Furthermore, expanding the circle of scientific research on women's priorities, issues, rights and ways of empowering them needs to be provided with sufficient financial support and needs to be indexed and disseminated in Palestine.

 Researchers noted the need to activate the partnership between existing women's studies centers and to network with the community institutions in the light of a clear national strategy of women's issues. In addition to that, they urged to activate the international academic partnerships with higher education institutions with regard to women's issues and empowering, taking into account the Palestinian cultural context.

The recommendations also highlighted the key role of higher education institutions in promoting the awareness of the community about women's issues and rights in cooperation with various community institutions. The participants suggested establishing platforms, pages and electronic groups specialized only for women and their issues with a critical dialogue characteristic, as well as to create a YouTube channel to review all issues and conventions relating to women and discuss them in depth with specialized figures from higher education institutions.