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Arab women

  • 'Gender violence pushed Jewish, Palestinian women into a corner — together'

    Women across Israel were set to strike to protest the government's inaction toward gender violence. Samah Salaime, a prominent feminist activist, speaks about building solidarity between Jewish and Palestinian women and why this moment feels so urgent. Tens of thousands of women in Israel were expected to participate in a general strike and demonstrations across the country on Tuesday, protesting the government's inaction toward gender-based violence, spurred by the recent murders of two teenage girls. [tmwinpost] Over 50 Jewish and Arab feminist organizations, comprising the Red Flag Coalition, declared a national "state of emergency" and organized the protests. Demonstrations are set to take place in dozens of locations…

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  • Arab women made history in Israel's local elections. Here's how they did it

    A record-breaking 26 Palestinian women were elected to office in Israel's local elections. Despite the unprecedented numbers, there is still a long way to go. Arab women made history in the last round of local elections in Israel held in late October. A total of 26 Arab women were elected across the country, including the first Druze and first Bedouin woman, respectively, as well as an unprecedented four female heads of political parties. In the past months, civil society and women’s associations banded together to encourage more Arab women to participate in local elections and exercise their right to vote. (Full disclosure: the organization I manage…

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  • The quiet feminist revolution in Arab society in Israel

    Despite the hardships, Arab women are making gains in the Israeli legal establishment, local politics, academia, and even in the Islamic Movement.  I watched as Hollywood stars collectively came out of the feminist closet during the Academy Awards this week. They spoke with pride about the recent #MeToo campaign, and demanded more respect and more funds for films made by women about women. But why envy the women of Hollywood? There's enough work to do back home. This past week we also learned that the Israel Prize Committee could not find a single woman who was worthy of receiving the…

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  • 'Local Call' wins award for social change

    Local Call wins NIS 25,000 for its persistent coverage of the joint feminist struggle between Arab and Jewish women against gender violence. By +972 Magazine Hebrew-language site Local Call won the Dror Prize for social change, along with a NIS 25,000 cash prize, on Friday, for spotlighting the joint struggle between Jewish and Arab women against gender violence in Israel. [tmwinpost] Spearheaded by Local Call and +972 writer Samah Salaime, along with Local Call's editors Yael Marom and Orly Noy, the site published a series of articles in 2017 dedicated to the Arab women who often find themselves confronting not…

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  • Wonder Women: The Arab feminist revolution on Facebook

    Thousands of Arab women on Facebook are sharing, with heart-wrenching honesty, stories of female heroism that don’t always make headlines. Is a new Arab feminism emerging? And what about the new Arab man? A week ago one of my Facebook friends added me to a group for Arab women. Oh no, I thought. Not another group. But, as usual, I couldn't resist the feminist urge and went in to take a look. I found stories of working Arab women of all ages from all over Israel: Muslim, Druze, and Christian, religious and less so, married and single; short, emotional stories…

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  • Israeli society isn't yet ready for a woman in a hijab

    I am a strong, independent and successful woman. Yet Israeli society is unwilling to understand that wearing a hijab is my choice. By Seren Khateb Shahbari Two years ago I decided to start wearing a hijab. I had a feeling that this is what I wanted at this stage of life. The spiritual need pushed me there. I was convinced, despite the social and political reality we live in. I knew that this would be a decision that would change many aspects of my life, affecting my work, my job, my ability to be accepted to an internship, and especially on…

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  • Dear Arab men, it's time to build a new kind of masculinity

    We must challenge masculinity that derives its power from the backs of the weakest segments in our society, while at the same time proposing an alternative masculinity that fights back against our humiliation. By Abed Abu Shehadeh After every catastrophe that befalls Arab society in Israel, I find myself typing away. I write to try and describe and analyze political events, focusing specifically on mechanisms of oppression. Time after time I ask myself why I even write in the first place, when I am well aware of the fact that I am using rationalistic tools to analyze irrational events. After all, there…

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  • What are Israelis willing to do to end violence against Arab women?

    Another Arab woman was gunned down by a masked assailant. What are you, Arabs and Jews who respect the police and just want peace, planning to do about it? Another woman joins the list. This time it was Siham Azbarqa from Lod who was shot in her home on Monday and died from her wounds the following day. Once again it was a masked gunman with a silenced pistol who managed to take another life, leaving a city of 30,000 Arab citizens in total shock. Siham was murdered not far from where Dua'a Abu Sharkh was killed in front of her four children half…

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  • No one is lifting a finger to protect Arab women

    Before she was murdered by her ex-husband, Huda Abu Sarir was betrayed by the rest us. She was murdered because we raise men unstable men alongside strong, steadfast women. I drove into the tiny, empty Jaffa alleyway on my way to the home of Huda Abu Sarari, an Arab woman who was murdered by her ex-husband a week earlier. I had a long list of questions and dilemmas following a discussion I held earlier that day with activists from Jaffa: should we demonstrate against our society or against the establishment, which oppresses us? Is this the pure struggle of Palestinian women,…

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  • Israel's '50 most influential women' — not a single Arab

    Israel's leading economic paper couldn't find a single Arab to put on their list of Israel's most influential women. Last week the Israeli magazine Lady Globes (put out by business daily Globes) published its list of Israel's 50 most influential women for 2016. Although it remains unclear what it takes for a woman to make the list — not to mention who came up with the criteria — I decided to use the list to analyze Israeli society from the eyes of a Palestinian. I wanted to learn who these women are, and why they are so influential. [tmwinpost] The list includes…

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  • Dear Arab men, leave us women out of your holy wars

    An Arab teacher was recently attacked and fired for screening an 'immodest' film for his students, all in the name of protecting women's 'honor.' This is the kind of article I am hesitant to publish in Hebrew or English. But out of my wholehearted belief that there are Jews in this world who can be part of our struggle, I decided to air our dirty laundry in other languages, after hanging it out to dry in Arabic here. [tmwinpost] The story about Ali Muasi, the teacher from Baqa al-Gharbiya, has already made headlines. Muasi was fired for screening the much-heralded…

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  • Meet the outlawed women of Israel's Islamic Movement

    They are journalists, educators, and physicians, who until very recently were dependent on the recently-outlawed Islamic Movement for their living. Now they leave behind a void that cannot be filled. An inside look at the women who play a critical role in Israel's Palestinian society. By Samah Salaime (translated from Hebrew by Tal Haran) The outlawing of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel received some attention from the Israeli media, before it vanished from the news cycle. When the movement did make headlines, however, it was portrayed as religious, militant, nationalistic and male-dominated. The truth is that…

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