“Women can make the impossible possible.” – Asma Deis, 38 and recently widowed, said she’s opening a small cleaning materials factory on her own to support her five children. source: AP via NPR.org
Mark your calendars for October 20th and send your silent hopes and prayers to a group of 11 women in Hebro, West Bank as they vie for a chance to govern in their local city. Led by journalist, Maysoun Qawasmi, elections in her city have been non-existent since 1976. She admits that their chances are slim, but it’s enough and she understands, one has to start somewhere.
While few women are in the workforce in Hebron, according to the AP just 16 percent, they make up a stronger percentage of women lawmakers in the Palestinian Cabinet, 25 percent, and 13 percent in the Palestinian Legislative Council than in our own country. In the U.S., women make up 47 percent of the labor force and just 17 percent of seats in the U.S. House and Senate.
Qawasmi’s group is not interested in assimilating into the current already established parties. Instead, they wish to create their own all female party. It’s not a bad strategy. In the U.S., women who have assimilated into the current two-party system must not only try to be taken seriously by the voters, but also by the already established leadership within the parties.
It is definitely time to begin grooming women for the 2014 midterm elections. We can’t vote for women if they don’t run. Let’s borrow our GIRLFRIENDS on the West Bank’s message, “By Participating, We Can.”