Double oppression of women in Palestine

Double oppression of women in Palestine

By Alaa Karajah, Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation reporter.

The Mediterranean is the most unequal border in the world if we compare the living standards on both shores. It has become a huge cemetery for tens of thousands of men, women and children. and there are more and more violations of democracy and human rights on both sides, and this, of course, affects us as women.

In Palestine, the fight for women’s rights cannot be separated from the fight for rights and statehood. Palestinian women suffer the violence of the occupation and sexism.

The Israeli occupation is a factor in suppressing the freedoms of Palestinian journalists, as they are victims of repression and violations committed by the Israeli occupation forces, and they systematically attack journalists and the media. This can frighten some women journalists when exercising their profession in the field for fear of violence or arrest.

On the other hand, Palestinian female journalists face social and gender pressures that make it difficult for them to exercise their profession, which results in the violation of their rights and their marginalization and makes them lose their work For this reason, media institutions often prefer to employ male journalists, or even offer them higher salaries.

Although the professional role of women has changed as they have acquired employment and economic independence, their traditional social role centered on the domestic sphere as caregivers and mothers has remained unchanged. This factor has a significant impact on women’s participation and access to making their voices heard in the media landscape.

In addition, social networks have gone from being a tool that helps journalists to reach the public and show their achievements and media productions to being a means used to intimidate them, belittle their production, ridicule their appearance and interfere – in the privacy of their families.

The coronavirus pandemic has hindered the participation of Palestinian journalists in the media landscape. Although many Palestinian journalists have demonstrated their merits in media coverage of events during the pandemic, some media institutions have exploited the circumstances caused by the pandemic as a pretext to fire them.

According to a report published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), poverty and unemployment rates have skyrocketed in Palestine in recent years. This crisis has increased with the coronavirus pandemic. The crisis forced the Palestinian government to declare lockdown measures as a means to combat the pandemic outbreak and ensure public safety. However, these measures have led to an escalation of violence against women, children, the elderly and people with functional diversity.

Violence against women in Palestine will not end if the facets of masculinity are not seriously addressed at all levels, as elsewhere in the world. This issue has become more important and urgent than ever because the liberation of Palestine, on the horizon, will not be realized without the liberation of Palestinian women.

Regarding migration, the Palestinian people have suffered forced migration due to the Israeli occupation in 1948. The repercussions continue to be perceptible at a political, economic and social level. Faced with a tragic situation, young Palestinians are migrating, especially from the Gaza Strip, given the lack of employment opportunities and economic deterioration after the 14-year Israeli siege of Gaza. This situation was exacerbated by Israel’s wars against Gaza in 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2021, which claimed lives and caused thousands of injuries and raised poverty and unemployment rates to record levels, with no prospects of improvement the situation

However, Palestinian youth have demonstrated their ability to influence and achieve change on the ground, as well as to build national unity among Palestinians in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the territories occupied in 1948 and the diaspora in a shared struggle after the forced displacement of Sheikh Jarrah and the attack on Gaza. They have offered hope in the ability to achieve change and make an impact on the ground.

I believe that Palestinian women and young people have a lot of capacity and strength to resist and look towards change. I always consider strength and decision-making at different levels and I see women as decision-makers at many levels. Despite the many factors militating against women’s empowerment and gender equality, in addition to the exclusion of youth from participation, counting on youth continues to offer hope for change.