Paul Calvert spoke with Samya Abu Hmud from the Tawjeeh Center, about the issues women face in Palestinian culture, the need to educate people about their rights, and the problem of religion.

Samya Abu Hmud
Samya Abu Hmud

Paul: What is the Tawjeeh Center?

Samya: Tawjeeh Center for Democracy and Right Culture is a non-profit organisation, established in 2011.

The main goal of Tawjeeh Center is to raise awareness about human rights, democracy, and all these issues that are related to the Palestinian Associations: accepting others, tolerance, and good governance. We concentrate on these issues with our work.

Paul: Why were you started?

Samya: If you look to the Palestinian society, you can see that we are facing many problems that need working on, especially issues and problems related to women, children's rights, and women's rights. We believe that we need to work on these issues.

Paul: What is your mission?

Samya: To have a society going through democracy and having all these issues as a basic style in our lives as Palestinians.

Paul: What projects do you run?

Samya: We have the programme of women's rights and working with women to raise awareness about democracy and human rights. Also the project of women's empowerment. We are helping women to have their small projects to empower them and have income for their life.

Also we are working with children in schools to raise awareness through workshops and lectures, about human rights, democracy, and child rights. We are working with them through small programmes. Implementing through these programmes like games, but the goal of these games is to raise awareness for children about human rights and democracy.

Paul: Are things changing for women in Palestinian society?

Samya: No, it's not changing, because we are facing very strong and complicated issues and problems that makes changing very weak.

The most important problem of these is religion. Religion is covering us and not giving us the opportunity to work as in other countries, especially for women. It's restricted and we are trying to open their eyes, raising awareness about many things away of religion. But we see that this problem is getting worse, because they are going back to religion with everything, they are not giving themselves the opportunity to live as they want to live. This is a big problem.

Paul: Recently Bethlehem had a female mayor, did that inspire women?