Palestinian women

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Ramallah woman 15029v.jpg

One of the main determinants of the role of Palestinian women is the structure of the family which may be a nuclear unit, a transitional unit, or a hamula unit (hamula means "extended family", the most common family structure in Palestinian society). The significant influences to the rights of women in Palestine are the patriarchal tradition and the teachings of the Quran. In general, expecting parents in Palestine prefer having males because the boys carry "the name of the family and secures" the continuity of the family line and strengthens the likelihood of its economic stability. On the other hand, female Palestinians were not expected to secure income for the family, but women were expected to adapt to the customary roles of women in Palestinian society wherein females were traditionally molded as inferior to men.[1]

However, there had been a gradual change in the attitudes of parents regarding the education of their Palestinian daughters since the middle of the 1970s. From the middle part of the 1970s, several numbers of Palestinian women achieved education from universities, instead of only receiving education at the secondary level. Reasons for the change of parental attitude were the "increased demand for women on the labour market", changes in the status of the economy in the West Bank territory, the "economic interests" of the parents, and the idea that a well-educated Palestinian woman has a better place and opportunity on the "marriage market". In addition to this, armed with earned education, an unmarried daughter can financially support herself and her parents.[1]

Palestinian women have a long history of involvement in resistance movements inside the Occupied Territories and in countries such as Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. They established many feminist-nationalist organizations, including the Palestinian Federation of Women's Action Committees in the West Bank and Gaza.[2]

Despite of the change in parental views, however, contemporary women in Palestine are reported to be experiencing adversity due to political discord, Israeli occupation, and the "denial of full rights and protection by Palestinian society" in general.[3]

A survey by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics from 2011 showed that 35 percent of married women in Gaza had been on the receiving end of physical violence by their husband during the previous twelve months, and that 40 percent of unmarried women had been physically abused by a member of their household.[4] In 2013, UNRWA canceled its annual marathon in Gaza after Hamas rulers prohibited women, including Palestinian women from Gaza, to participate in the race.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Manasra, Najah. Palestinian Women: Between Tradition and Revolution
  2. ^ Hasso, Frances S. Resistance, Repression, and Gender Politics in Occupied Palestine and Jordan (Syracuse University Press 2005).
  3. ^ Palestinian women 'suffer doubly', BBC News, March 31, 2005
  4. ^ Odgaard, Lena (25 March 2014). "Upsurge in Palestinian 'honour killings'". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  5. ^ UN Cancels Gaza Marathon

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