Living in a patriarchal, traditional society that is under occupation, Palestinian women have a tough stance. While the occupation – deemed unlawful in October 2022 by an UN-appointed Commission of Inquiry – violates the political and human rights of all Palestinians, it affects girls and women more harshly than men. For example, men may genuinely feel that settler attacks and IDF violations pose too great a danger for women to leave their village – while some others may use this reason as a pretext to curtail the freedom of movement of their wives, sisters, and daughters, and thereby limit their educational and job opportunities. Also, by severely restricting access to livestock grazing areas and forcibly urbanizing many Bedouin communities, Israel has deprived Bedouins of their source of livelihood, which affects Bedouin women in particular. Living the traditional nomadic lifestyle, women prepared and sold dairy products and managed the family finances, but when they lost these roles, they also lost income, influence, and respect in their families and communities. Moreover, women in disadvantaged Palestinian communities are more prone to being victims of domestic violence while the occupation restricts their freedom of movement; limits their access to agricultural lands, medical care, or job opportunities; denies building permits and demolishes their homes while expanding Israeli settlements; and increasingly gives free rein to rampaging settlers and a license to kill to their soldiers. Acknowledging these hardships, this issue also celebrates women activists, defenders of human and women’s rights, athletes, and professionals.
This Week in Palestine wishes to thank UN Women for its support of this issue, and Reclusters: A Medical Waste Management Company for using TWiP as a platform to share information about its activities. Our gratitude also goes to this issue’s authors: Ohaila Shomar, a human rights activist and expert trainer in gender-based violence; Dalal Iriqat, an assistant professor at the Arab American University Palestine; the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics; Georgina Abboud, an architectural designer at 2XĀ Architecture and Interior Design; Ayesha AlRifai, a health and gender scholar; Aida Kleibo, a Palestinian, Jerusalemite, feminist, human rights activist; Diana Al Shaer, a sports and cultural diplomat and the founder of the media platform PaliRus; Dr. Mona Nabil Demaidi, the managing director of Girls in Tech in Palestine and an assistant professor at An-Najah National University; Diana Mardi Atari, a field researcher at an organization that advocates for human rights in planning; Dana Alami, the founder and CEO of Reclusters; UNDP/PAPP; Fidaa Barghouthi, a gender consultant and academic researcher; and Yanal Abukhalaf, an environmental and sustainable architect and climate change expert.
Our two personalities of the month are Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi and Sama Fayez Aweidah. Our three books of the month are Returning by Vera Tamari, They Called Me a Lioness by Ahed Tamimi and Dena Takruri, and We Are Palestinian, a children’s book by Reem Kassis, illustrated by Noha Eilouti. Enjoy visiting the listed events.
The entire team at TWiP wishes you a Happy Women’s Day and a more peaceful month ahead!
The Tina Basem