Thursday, January 1, 2009

Palestinian women have been socially active since the beginning of the 20th century, forming charitable associations, participating in the nationalist struggle, and working for the welfare of their community. Originally established in Jerusalem in 1921, the General Union of Palestinian Women organized women under occupation and in the Palestinian diaspora so that they could sustain communities and hold families together. The character of women's involvement shifted in the late 1970s, as young, politically oriented women became active in the fight against Israeli occupation, as well as in the establishment of cooperatives, training centers, and kindergartens. They formed activist women's committees, which were able to attract members from different spheres of life and create alliances with international feminist organizations. Women also played an active role in the first intifada, or uprising, against Israeli occupation in 1987, further elevating their status in the society.

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