Palestinian Women’s Rights In The Occupied Territories

The Israeli occupation and political conflict have had significant impacts on the social and economic conditions of the Occupied Palestinian Territories , particularly for women. Women have been subjected to the lack of social and economic security and various forms of violence. They continue to be vulnerable to complex systems of violence rooted in ongoing military occupation, human rights violations, prevailing patriarchal norms that exacerbate these conditions, and racial discrimination in the unequal distribution of power and resources.

International Rights of Palestinian Women

Palestinian Authority (PA) has taken several positive steps to overcome gender inequality, such as ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 2014 without reservations. PA has also developed and implemented the National Strategy to Combat Violence Against Women for the period 2011-2019, the Comprehensive National Strategy for Gender Equality and Justice for the period 2017-2022, and the National Action Plan (NAP) on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 for the period 2017-2019, among others.

Rights of Palestinian Women under Palestinian Law

Palestinian law grants women the right to representation in local councils and bodies, as per the Local Councils and Local Authorities Election Law No. (5) of 1996. Women also have the right to participate in general elections under the General Elections Law No. (13) of 1995. The law makes education mandatory up to the tenth grade and encourages women’s right to work, despite challenges faced by working women, such as maternity leave, family grants, age discrimination, and social security.

National Woman’s Day

The Palestinian Cabinet, in its session No. (13) chaired by Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on July 17, 2019, adopted October 26 of each year as the National Day for Palestinian Women. This date holds significant historical value as the first Palestinian women’s conference was held in Jerusalem on October 26, 1929, reflecting the aspirations of the Palestinian people at that time.

Solidarity Stand with Palestinian Female Prisoners

On October 24, 2022, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs in PA organized a solidarity stand with Palestinian female prisoners in Israeli occupation prisons. Participants raised Palestinian flags and images of prisoners, demanding their release and drawing attention to the harsh conditions and medical neglect faced by female prisoners.

Violations Against Palestinian Women

1. Arrest and Violence: About two-thirds of women in the Palestinian territories experience violence. The Israeli occupation contributes significantly to this violence through killings and arrests. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the Israeli army killed 48 Palestinian women and arrested 184 others in 2021.

2. Inheritance: Despite Palestinian laws allowing women the right to own property and Islamic law granting them inheritance rights, the majority of women do not receive these rights due to male-dominated culture and the absence of binding legislation. Only about 12% of Palestinian women reportedly receive their legitimate inheritance rights.

Recommendations for Ensuring Rights of Palestinian Women

1. Adhere to and implement the Geneva Convention concerning the protection of civilians in times of armed conflict, considering the International Court of Justice’s advisory opinion on the applicability of the concept of armed conflict to the Palestinian territories.

2. Implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and UN Security Council Resolution 1325 regarding the treatment of women and girls during interrogations, detentions, and life within prisons.

3. Urge high contracting parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to stop the physical and psychological assaults by Israeli authorities against Palestinian female detainees.

4. Develop a plan to protect Palestinian women from violence as part of the state’s clear strategic plans.

5. Enhance cooperation mechanisms and strengthen partnerships between governmental institutions, civil society organizations, and political parties to unify efforts for the fair rights of women.

6. Empower women by ensuring their representation in public life through constitutional and legal means. Consider seriously amending the constitution to guarantee fair representation for women in all elected councils.

7. Attempt to change male-dominated culture, customs, and traditions violating the rights of Palestinian women through awareness campaigns about women’s rights in families, schools, and universities.

Note : The article has been translated from Arabic to English, and the original text was published on the Democratic ArabicCenter for Strategic, Political, and Economic Studies( by Iman Anan, a Master’s researcher in political science.


About Admin

Youth's poetry ignites my quest, Against oppression, I protest. In Palestine's struggle, voices rise, For freedom, peace, justice, my cries.
This entry was posted in Palestinian art & culture, Palestinian Women and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *