The Role of Gender in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict- Exploring the impact of occupation and patriarchy on Palestinian women
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to illuminate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a gender inclusive perspective, seeking to explore and establish some of the ways in which Palestinian women in the West Bank and Gaza are affected by two interlocking systems of oppression, namely occupation and patriarchy. I will carry out this aim through a qualitative case study guided essentially by feminist theorizing on gender and war, human rights, and nationalisms. I argue that in the face of rapidly deteriorating living conditions, security policies employed by the Israeli army are particularly detrimental to women due to their subordinate position in society. Furthermore inherently discriminatory features of the Palestinian Authority will be explored as well as the influence of Islamism and cultural relativism. Finally the link between increased militarization of the conflict and increase in gender-based violence directed towards Palestinian as well as Israeli women will be considered. Findings of the study suggest that, among other things, the politics of occupation, as well as the long-term effects of occupation in conjunction with patriarchal structures of the PA, has served to delimit the advancement of Palestinian women.
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