The reality of Palestinian women in light of the violation of their rights and depriving them from their basic and fundamental rights in the city of Jerusalem… Until when?
The United Nations announced that the slogan for this year’s International Women’s Day is (Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity), however… when we are talking about the reality of Palestinian women, especially in the city of Jerusalem, we talk about their continuous suffering and the violation of their social, economic and political rights by the Israeli occupation authorities, in addition to depriving them from their freedom, safety and enjoyment of their rights; in which creating a safe environment for women to defend their rights and guarantee their access to the most fundamental and basic rights has become an international and global responsibility.
Al-Maqdese works on monitoring and documenting human rights violations, including those that violate Palestinian women rights especially in the city of Jerusalem, as they are subject to these violations on a daily and systematic basis; it should be noted here that the policies of house demolitions and forced displacement have a great effect and impact on the social, economic and psychological conditions of women, as throughout the year 2014, the Israeli occupation authorities demolished 112 residential and non-residential structures which resulted in the displacement of 83 women, not to mention the confiscation of lands and properties which resulted in high unemployment rates in Jerusalem that reached up to 84%, what makes the situation even worse is that women are not able to reach the labor market due to the Israeli checkpoints and barriers imposed on the mobility between the city of Jerusalem and the cities and suburbs of the West Bank, as the percentage of women’s participation in the labor force has reached 19.4% only from the overall percentage of labor force participation in the occupied Palestinian territories throughout the year 2014, while unemployment rates amongst women in Palestine reached 38.4%.
Due to the continuous suffering of the Palestinian women at the social and economic levels, Palestinian women and families are effected on the psychological level as a result of house demolitions, as women are constantly scared, afraid and worried of losing their housing and getting deprived from safety and security in light of the current conditions in the city, as this affects their roles as mothers, wives and activists in society development, thus, sometimes, their only care is providing a decent life for their children and families and supporting them especially after the demolition of their houses and having to move to places outside the city of Jerusalem; and thus losing the right of permanent residency in the city of which they grew up and were raised in, not to mention their inability to access fundamental services as stipulated in local and international rules and regulations.
Recently, Jerusalemite women have become more subject to the policy of violence and to Israeli violations, especially in terms of arrests and displacements from the city, as on the religious level, the Israeli occupation has issued its orders to prevent women from getting near and/or entering Al-Aqsa Mosque and its yards for days and even months as a punishment for their different activities including defending the religious sanctities from the attacks that they are subject to and defending their lands, as these are considered as indicators of the participation of women in defending their rights and freedoms and expressing their opinions and abilities to change the reality that we are living in on all levels.
Therefore, MSD continues its work in defending the rights of women in the city of Jerusalem, protecting them and empowering them on the social, economic, political and cultural levels, in addition to raising their awareness, advocating for their rights and promoting their resilience in the city of Jerusalem, in order to respond to their increasing needs in accordance with the current political, social and economic conditions which in turn affect their interaction with their families, societies and even themselves on different levels.
MSD asks all human rights organizations, on the local and international levels, to intensify their efforts to protect the Palestinian women in Jerusalem, advocate for their rights, raise their voice in international forums and promote their status in the Palestinian and international societies, it also asks all relevant parties and stakeholders to commit to all international conventions that guarantee the rights of women and free them from poverty, unemployment and literacy, in addition to empowering them, raising their voice, promoting their participation in decision making, protecting them from all types of violence and organizing advocacy and lobbying campaigns on the local and international levels to ensure their status and active roles in development, as we hope to be able to see the results of these efforts on the status of Palestinian women in Jerusalem and in Palestine as a whole in the near future.