Women’s rights – A talk with our partner, KVINFO
Recently, Gaza Marathon was cancelled due to a Hamas ban to let women enter the race, which led the organizer to cancel the race. It’s always been one of the main goals in creating and promoting Palestine Marathon to not only give women the opportunity to participate, but to encourage them and show them how. This goal became all the more important when Gaza Marathon was cancelled.
Palestine Marathon is an important cultural and equal rights event
KVINFO is the Danish national centre for gender, equality, and diversity. We had a talk to programme adviser and administrator of KVINFO’s Pool for Dialogue and Cooperation on Women’s Rights, Jeanette Bach Knudsen, about KVINFO’s work and why they have chosen to support Palestine Marathon.
“From a gender perspective, the Palestine Marathon gives women a great chance to openly practice sport in the public. This is not only a healthy and possibly competitive activity, it’s also a statement: Inhibiting women to do so is obviously a limitation of their rights”, Jeanette Bach Knudsen points out.
“Sport unites across gender, religion, and other barriers. We have seen numerous examples of old grievances being left behind while doing sports. This aspect holds value with regard to KVINFO’s granting of funds to the project. Also, KVINFO appreciates that the event contributes to a different image than the usual of Palestine. And it offers Palestinian a positive and somehow surprising activity to take part in.”
KVINFO’s work in the Middle East
In the Middle East and North Africa, KVINFO runs projects and programmes in seven countries, supporting and strengthening gender equality and women’s rights, both concretely and on a structural level. The core themes are Access to Justice, Women’s Political Empowerment, Women’s Economic Empowerment, Gender Based Violence, and Gender Research. The work is carried out in close collaboration with partners in the region such as women’s organisations, labour unions, academia, public institutions, and private companies.
Supporting sustainable projects
In addition to supporting women’s rights and cultural exchange, it is also important that the projects KVINFO choose to support are sustainable. “The project component on building the capacity of local sports organisations is important to KVINFO. In our project support, we always focus on their sustainability. The long term aspect of the Palestine Marathon is promising because local sports clubs are strengthened through the event. Likewise, the collaboration and networking between Danish and Palestinian organisations – for instance with Challenge Copenhagen – strengthens KVINFO’s confidence in the project and its future,” says Jeanette Back Knudsen.
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