A 15-year-old Palestinian girl took office as the mayor of a West Bank town and became the youngest person in the world to occupy this position.
As part of an initiative to empower youth and involve them in the decision-making process, Bashaer Othman will be the mayor of the town of Allar in the city of Tulkarm in the northwestern West Bank for two months.
Othman is in charge of all matters related to the municipality of Allar and which include supervising employees and signing all official documents with the exception of financial ones.
Othman is working under the supervision of elected mayor Sufian Shadid who expressed his enthusiasm for the teengar’s appointment as a step towards supporting youth.
“There are many ways of supporting youth other than financial means. First, we should make sure we remove obstacles that might stand in their way and with determination and perseverance we can do so,” he said.
For Othman, the new position constitutes a major challenge that she is hoping she can be up to.
“I want to go through this experience in order to be able to share it with other youth so that they can be prepared for running state institutions in the future,” she said.
I don’t know the process behind this, but I think this sends a powerful message to both youth and adults about the role that youth and young women play in leadership. Even if it’s only a two month appointment, I wonder how many will be empowered to take ownership and push back against adults who tell them their voice doesn’t matter. [This is before even throwing regional issues into the mix.]
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