For years, the United States was the largest aid donor to Palestinians. With funding to health, education and sanitation programs brought to a sudden halt, it’s women and girls who are hit the hardest. When Nawal’s husband had to stop working two years ago due to severe stomach pains, she became the family’s primary provider. Nawal, who asked to use only her first name, lives with her seven children in Dheisheh refugee camp, near Bethlehem. Nawal used to be eligible for stipends from UNRWA that would help her cover the family’s medical costs, but she was recently told this assistance is no longer…Read More... | 7 Comments
As if defying gender norms in their own communities isn't enough, Palestinian women are forced to fight prejudices and racism masking themselves as feminism in Israel and the West. By Anwar Mhajne Tens of thousands of women protested against gender violence in Israel earlier this month, demanding the allocation of more resources to combat it. The protests came a week after the murders of two girls, 16-year-old Yara Ayoub from the village of Jish, and 13-year-old Silvana Tsegai from Tel Aviv. This week, another woman, Eman Ahmad Awad, was found stabbed to death in her home in Acre. She was the 25th…Read More...
'I didn’t know what to do. He kept insisting, so I felt that I had to answer him to make him stop, I told him that I’m married and have three kids but he didn’t believe me.' A report about the women no longer willing to stay silent and the difficulties they face. By Mohammed Moussa Writer’s note: Some women passengers quoted in this story asked that their last names be withheld to protect their privacy. GAZA CITY – The growing number of women speaking out against sexual assault and harassment at the hands of powerful men seems to have…Read More... | 1 Comment
The public role of women in Saudi life has expanded rapidly over the past decade, accented last month by lifting a ban on women driving. But as the Kingdom moves forward on some rights, it is regressing with regards to others — particularly, cracking down on political dissidents. By Thomas W. Lippman So, with its decision to let women drive, is Saudi Arabia finally modernizing its oppressive rules of social behavior and relaxing its tight restrictions on political and social life? Yes and no. Economic necessity and the realities of the modern workplace are forcing changes that to Westerners look like progress,…Read More...
By banning the burkini, the French view themselves as the ones liberating veiled women from Muslim patriarchy. Instead they are only imposing a different form of oppression. By Eiad Shalabne The images of French policemen handing out tickets to Muslim women in religious garb on the beaches of Nice this past week reflect a depressing interpretation of the essence of democracy and freedom of religion in the West, and specifically France. Under the guise of "women's liberation" and secularism, France's elected officials are trying to limit the presence of Muslim women in the public space by establishing guidelines for how women must undress when they…Read More... | 8 Comments
Reported incidents of sexual harassment, assault and rape by high-ranking Israeli officials are flooding their way into the media. Why is the violation of women's bodies and dignity so endemic in Israeli society? Several days ago a story broke in Israel that has been dominating the headlines ever since: a senior Israeli army officer has been suspended from his duties after coming under suspicion of having sexually assaulted a female soldier under his command. Ofek Buchris, whose name was originally under gag order, is suspected of five counts of assault, including rape. And as a high-ranking official in the most…Read More... | 31 Comments
In response to the recent wave of violence Israel's public security minister wants to put more guns in more (men's) hands and in more homes. The only guaranteed result, however, is that more women will be killed inside their own homes. By Rela Mazali Israel’s gun policy is changing as you read this. The country’s gun policy was already dubious at best, but now moving toward catastrophic. The catastrophe will play out over time in multiple “small” tragedies, wrecking multiple “small” lives. In hindsight, once they’ve occurred, all of them will have been predictable and preventable. But, preventable or not,…Read More...
When a prominent Muslim leader starts blaming women's organizations for corrupting Arab society, it is time to say loudly and clearly: we cannot wait for the occupation to end to deal with women's issues. I am neither a criminal nor a terrorist. Yes sir, I'll admit it: I founded a women's organization, and I wish to be judged severely for my actions. I want, once and for all, to hang the dirty laundry for all to see and be tried in a court of law. I recently came across a speech given by Sheikh Kamal Khatib, the secretary-general of the northern…Read More... | 1 Comment
Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi bravely came out against violence directed at women and the way firearms are being used to terrorize the residents of Arab towns. But the demand for 'social oversight' over the mosques takes the matter one step too far. (Translated from Hebrew by Sol Salbe) A painful and very important discussion is taking place in the Arab community in Israel, especially among those who are active on Facebook. And at the center of it is Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi. The conversation harks back to the women’s marathon in the city of Tira and the violent threats against…Read More... | 4 Comments
Mizrahi activists have tried explaining their positions for years. Now, in the run-up to the elections, they lay out their political vision for education, land reform, health care and representation in a 'ten-point program.' By Roi Grufi Throughout my years of being active in the Mizrahi struggle in Israel, I found that there are several dominant themes that affect the greater public views us: past versus present, or in other words — it happened a long time ago and is no longer relevant; complaining instead of taking responsibility for our lives, rather than legitimate claims about the difficulties that stem from…Read More... | 4 Comments
Ten women from the same family have been murdered since 2000. In failing to protect them, we have failed in coming to terms with the fact that women are independent, free human beings who have exclusive ownership over their bodies. (Translated from Hebrew by Sol Salbe) The first documented murder of a woman in Palestine occurred in 1930. A young Christian woman returned to her village on horseback while being held by one of the Arab fighters. He claimed that he gave her a ride to the village when a deluge of rain caught her in the fields. Someone from…Read More... | 16 Comments
This week: Palestinians destroy the separation barrier in three different villages across the West Bank, Bedouin protest the Prawer Plan in the Negev, Bethlehem residents receive demolition orders, animal rights activists pour fake blood all over an Israeli supermarket, and more.Read More...
On March 5, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which works with Palestinian refugees, announced it was cancelling its third international marathon in Gaza in mid-April. The race was called off due to the decision of the Hamas leaders in Gaza not to allow women to participate. The woman in me was deeply relieved at UNRWA’s decision – as a statement to Hamas that such chauvinism cannot be supported by international bodies. The marathon runner in me was crushed, for all those who registered and trained. Roughly one month before, most runners would have been completing their 25-30km…Read More... | 20 Comments
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