Economic empowerment of women in Palestine: reflections from a feminist perspective

Palestinian women face countless obstacles to live a life free of violence and secure their rights, including in the economic sphere. The prolonged Israeli occupation and its policies of dispossession, discrimination and segregation (labelled as apartheid) converge with the dominant patriarchal system in Palestinian society, strengthening structures of discrimination and injustice that threaten gender equality and Palestinian women’s economic development. Given this situation, various initiatives try to promote women’s economic empowerment as essential for exercising their freedoms and rights. But what empowerment are we talking about? This report stresses the importance of considering economic empowerment from a feminist perspective. Why is this approach significant? What keys does it provide to analyse the situation and challenges faced by Palestinian women? What agendas and initiatives are being promoted by feminist economic empowerment in Palestine?

After briefly analysing the concept of feminist economic empowerment, this report provides an overview of the gaps and obstacles characteristic of Palestinian women’s economic situation, paying special attention to the care and support economy. It then discusses the role of social norms that limit women’s economic empowerment, the links between economic empowerment and gender violence and some of the main economic rights that Palestinian feminist organisations are collectively demanding. Finally, it explains the challenges of addressing Palestinian women’s economic empowerment in a context of occupation and the links established with resistance to the occupation and patriarchal domination. The report combines this analysis with descriptions of some experiences of Palestinian feminist organisations in promoting initiatives for women’s economic empowerment, including the experiences and testimonials of some of its leading figures.

This publication is available in Catalan, Spanish, English and Arabic.

Empoderamiento / empoderamiento económico / discriminación / fuerza laboral / sector informal / desempleo / economía de cuidados / normas sociales / violencia de género / derechos económicos / resistencia