Research on PA women's rights violations that does not blame Israel

Is this going to be a new trend in academic research in the Palestinian Authority? Don't count on it.

Sheri Oz

OpEds Arab women
Arab women
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First published online on 30 July 2019, this is different from everything else I have read examining women's problems in the so-called "occupied" territories.

This article (or at least the abstract) does not even mention the word "occupation". Or Israel, for that matter.

Entitled “Negation of the Right of Women with Disabilities in Palestine to Marry: Cultural Considerations for Disability”, the study was conducted by Itaf Elkhateeb (IUG University, Gaza) and Dimity Peter (University of Massachusetts). Data collection was supported by the Zamala Fellowship Program, a research granting organization for academics established by the Bank of Palestine and totally funded by the bank and a number of Palestinian bodies. Most surprising is that the powers-that-be let this get out without scapegoating Israel.

This article is a breath of fresh air after other articles that blame Israeli “occupation” for causing heart attacks among citizens of the PA, for example, or for preventing students in PA universities from voicing their opinions on the Fatah-Hamas conflict.

Read the abstract to see what I mean:

"The right to marriage, family, and parenthood is embodied in Article 23 of the Convention on the Rights of Person’s with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to explore the access to marriage for women with physical disabilities in Palestine.

"Seventeen women who acquired their disability before the age of 16 were interviewed. Fourteen participants were not married. Although these unwed participants believed they had the physical capacity to marry, and some had suitors, their families prohibited marriage.

"Participants reported marriage censure was buttressed by strong community attitudes. Three participants had married, with the support of the their birth family, but with the strong disapproval of the husband’s family.

"The study explores the relationship between Palestinian cultural practices in regard to marriage and disability and argues that in Palestinian culture a prohibition of marriage results in the negation of the rights of women with disabilities.

"The study illuminates and raises questions of power and inequity and deepens our understanding of the intersection of gender, gender roles and disability in the Palestinian context, examines the tension between social justice for individuals and respecting a cultural context of collectivism and binding familial relations, and the cultural assumptions made about physical norms and capability. [emphasis added]

Now why is the women’s movement in the PA not making a big stink about this one?

Are the Israeli Arab feminists even aware of this?

And if they are, would they do anything for these women whose human rights are being trampled? 

Somebody, quick: send this article to the UN Human Rights Commission!



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