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Palestinians elect first female head of village in Jenin


Kifaya Zakzouk, elected to preside over the village council of al-Judeida

For the first time in Jenin governorate, in the northern West Bank, a woman was elected June 25 to preside over the village council of al-Judeida. The council’s 11 members chose social activist Kifaya Zakzouk to head the council during elections held under the supervision of the directorate of the Ministry of Local Government in Jenin governorate.

Al-Judeida village has a surface area of 6,360 dunams (1,571 acres) and is home to 6,000 people, most of whom work in agriculture.

Zakzouk, 50, who was elected by residents in 2017 as a member of the village council, told Al-Monitor, “My victory in these elections is a historic event that breaks men’s monopolization of the local council leadership in Jenin. No woman has ever occupied this position in the [Jenin] governorate.”

She said that her victory proves that “Palestinian women are challenging norms and traditions confining them to the household and that they can work in different fields and handle leadership positions.” She underlined that she will not waste this opportunity to prove the competence of Palestinian women in handling high-ranking positions and changing their society. She noted that she plans to undertake several development projects in the village.

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