Issues of Gender and Palestinian Citizenship: Women’s Activism from National Liberation to Interim Self-Government
Jacoby, Tami Amanda
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This paper explores the ways in which institutional changes accompanying the transformative period from nationalism to interim self-government impact Palestinian women and their political struggles. The intention is to distinguish between categories of “woman” and “nationalist” in discussions about citizenship during the transition to “self-rule”. The main question I address is, what are the gendered implications of statebuilding and citizenship in Palestinian society? To answer this question, I rely predominantly upon issues and debates from material published by grassroots women’s organisations, including independent study centres and advocacy groups, along with interviews of organised women. Recent changes have had a differential impact on Palestinian men and women because of the penetration of long-standing networks of patriarchal power in the statebuilding process. They have also had a differential impact on Palestinian women depending upon their location on the political spectrum, i.e. as independents or as members of groups which support or oppose the PNA. The construction of citizenship is informed by experiences and discourses of national liberation, so I will begin by exploring the concept of gender in Palestinian nationalism, and then proceed to a discussion of women, statebuilding and citizenship in the Palestinian context.