It should not be news that women worldwide are facing higher workloads due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nor is the fact that the situation of Palestinian women is particularly difficult because they have to overcome both the repercussions of a military occupation and the social and economic restrictions placed on them by a patriarchal society. So why are we publishing yet another issue highlighting the same old themes? Because we are not giving up! Some of the solutions are as easy as at least once a week picking up a broom, preparing a light dinner, and doing the laundry. (I am talking about sons, husbands, and fathers in all types of societies… just in case anyone is wondering.) Others require what seems like a political earthquake, as emboldened Israel has engaged in increasing oppression, confiscation and destruction of Palestinian property, and expansion of its settlements. But many of our readers likely have witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, the fall of the Iron Curtain, and the end of apartheid in South Africa. All these events were preceded by internal and external pressure and advocacy. So let us get to work! (And the smallest step you can take today to bring about social change at home is mentioned above.)
But beyond the political and social areas that require our engagement, you will find in this issue stories of women who are defying the odds and institutions that help them achieve their dreams, support their families – helping many of them rise out of poverty – and bring about economic development and social change. Thanks go to our authors, including Dr. Amal Hamad, Minister of Women’s Affairs, and Maryse Guimond, UN Women Special Representative in Palestine; the Business Women Forum; UNFPA; Tala El-Yousef, head of experimentation at the Palestinian Accelerator Lab that is embedded within UNDP/PAPP; Amal Abusrour, director of programs at Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling; Samah Jaber, head of the advocacy department at the Union of Agricultural Work Committees; Heba Zayyan, head of UN Women’s Gaza Sub-Office; Karmel Najjar, monitoring and evaluation and reporting officer at The Palestinian Businesswomen’s Association–Asala; Oxfam; Aid and Hope Center–Gaza; and Rafah Anabtawy, the general director of Kayan–Palestinian Feminist Organization. Our Personality of the Month is Najat Ermely, the Book of the Month is The Honey, Artist of the Month is Jenna Barghouti, and the Exhibition of the Month is Tales of a Rebellious Body. Enjoy hiking Marj Sanur, as presented in Where to Go, visiting the Sufi shrine, presented by Ahlan Palestine Postcard, and cooking TWiP Kitchen’s recipe.
Last but not least, TWiP would like to extend its sincere gratitude to the Representative Office of Norway to the Palestinian Authority, UN Women, and UNFPA for their support through the gold sponsorship of this issue!
From all of us at TWiP, we wish you a good start into spring (or fall), with best wishes for your health, well-being, and economic security,
By Tina Basem