Palestinian Women under Occupation - by Stephen Lendman
The Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations is a Beirut, Lebanon-based organization engaged in "strategic and futuristic studies on the Arab and Muslim worlds, (emphasizing) the Palestinian issue. In early 2010, it published the second of its series, "Am I Not a Human," a report titled, "The Suffering of the Palestinian Woman under the Israeli Occupation, " discussed below.
In spite of their "exceptional suffering," Palestinian women display remarkable endurance qualities. Living under stress in poverty, their homes destroyed, lands razed or expropriated, children sick, husbands imprisoned, fathers killed, and more, they plant seeds of hope, fulfill their daily social role, and participate in political and every day resistance. Since the 1948 Nakba, they've been denied basic human rights, security, free expression and movement, a safe and healthy environment, and education. They became refugees in their own land and abroad, bearing burdens beyond the capacity most women can bear anywhere.
Under occupation, they struggle daily to endure, survive, and provide the best for their families and children - as spouses, mothers, caregivers, fighters, nurses, workers, and teachers.
Annually on March 8, International Women's Day commemorates their economic, political, cultural, scientific, and social achievements, but for Palestinian women, it's more - their struggle under Israeli occupation, their lost freedoms, and imposed hardships, testing them to the limit to cope. For Gazans bordering on Israel, one mother said she:
"sleeps with her eyes wide open, and lives with her heart broken, expecting grief to be renewed at any moment."
Another woman searches daily for a medicine her son Muhammad needs, hospitalized without it. Some mothers have only photos of lost loved ones, or others imprisoned out of reach.
In Gaza, the burden is greatest. Also, however, after Israel's 2003 law banning family unifications of Israeli citizens married to Palestinian spouses in Gaza or the West Bank. It legalized Israel's longstanding practice, forcing some women to live illegally as virtual house prisoners to avoid arrest or deportation without their husbands and children.