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The WCLAC Bulletin - June 2017

WCLAC’s director, Ms.Randa Siniora, participates in special side-event on Violence Against Women: The Case of Palestinian Women Under OccupationDuring the 35th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva this month, WCLAC’s director co-organised and participated in a special side-event which brought together women’s rights advocates to address and discuss the aspects of occupation which have a detrimental effect on Palestinian women. Advocates analysed how occupational violence is intertwined into gender based violence in Palestinian society and family. Watch the recording here

Ms. Dubravka Šimonović, Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women presents her report to the 35th session of the Human Rights Council in GenevaOn June 12th the UN Special Rapporteur delivered a speech to the Human Rights Council in which she address violence against women in Palestine in public and private life. She acknowledged both the occupation, and traditional patriarchal society, as facilitating violence against women, and called to re-assess outdated legislation which does not offer women appropriate protection from such causes of violence. WCLAC had submitted a report to Ms. Šimonović prior to her speech which addressed issues facing women in Palestine and included personal testimonies from victims of violence. Read more

Women’s Voices: Raghad’s account of property destruction – On March 29th 2017 around 100 Israeli soldiers surround Raghad’s home in Silwan and demolish it without a prior notification or a demolition order. Raghad, a mother of six aged between 8 and 14, and her family had paid extreme amounts in legal fees to attempt to keep their home. “The commander didn’t allow me or my husband to bring out any of our clothes or other possessions. Around 20 soldiers entered the house; they brought out very few clothes and two pieces of furniture, most of our possessions remained inside the house, then they started to demolition it.” Read more

Palestinian women prisoners bolster resistance, launch new protestThe 40 day hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners ended on May 26th, however female prisoners are now claiming that their conditions have worsened in the wake of the deal between the Israel prison service and prisoner representatives. Responding to the announcement of prisoner transfers, as well as other abuses, the women began a number of protest actions, including refusing their dinner, as well as refusing to stand up for roll call. The prisoners are also protesting ongoing humiliating and invasive strip searches, verbal harassment by prison guards and the continued ban on visitors — touching on many of the demands raised by hunger strikers. Read more

Adoption of UN resolution is a victory for Palestinian women and their rights - PLO Executive Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi welcomed the United Nations Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) adoption of a draft resolution entitled, “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women,” which was recommended by the Commission on the Status of Women in its sixty-first session in March. The resolution addressed, and implemented actions to improving, issues on education, health, economic empowerment, violence against women, self-autonomy and decision making, and institutional development, all of which affect Palestinian women. Read more


Living under policies of colonisation in Jerusalem - Visualising Palestine (VP) has made an infographic outlining discriminatory policies towards Palestinians in Jerusalem. Since 1967 apartheid has been prevailing in the City where the Israeli occupying power has been enacting discriminatory policies and laws that suppress the growth of Palestinian community to not exceed 40% of the population of Jerusalem. Israel is engaging in a process of silent transfer and colonization aiming to create a Jewish majority by legal means. VP creates data-driven tools to advance a factual, rights-based narrative of the Palestinian-Israeli issue. View here

Meet Palestine’s youngest female mayorLast month’s bulletin announced that local elections have placed three women in mayoral positions in West Bank constituencies. Yusra Mohammad Badwan was the youngest of these; at age 25 she has combatted prejudice of both gender and age to gain her position and become a representative for her whole community. “I didn't hesitate to run in the local elections in Azzun because I want women and youth to be more involved in these elections and I aspire to make a positive change in my hometown," she told Al-Monitor. Read more

Israel’s Occupation: 50 years of dispossession - Amnesty International have launched a campaign in condemnation of 50 years of occupation and illegal Israeli settlement construction on Palestinian land, and in support of boycotting Israeli goods. It has also criticized Israel’s violation of human right’s laws in forced evictions and transfer, housing demolitions, and appropriation of Palestinian resources for settlements. Israel’s military rule disrupts every aspect of daily life in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. It continues to affect whether, when and how Palestinians can travel to work or school, go abroad, visit their relatives, earn a living, attend a protest, access their farmland, or even access electricity or a clean water supply. It means daily humiliation, fear and oppression. People’s entire lives are effectively held hostage by Israel. Read more

Rudaina fights for disabled people’s rights - I joined the Medical Relief CBR program because the disability rights cause is dear to me, simply because it touches uon my suffering as a person with disability and I felt that I can make a difference to others and the whole community, says Rudaina Abu Jarrad. She is working with the Swedish organisation Diakonia, as well as being the chairperson of the General Union of Disabled Persons in Tulkarm, and the leader of Stars of Hope, a group for women with disabilities. Rudaina fights for disability rights, and promotes inclusiveness for people with disabilities in society.  Read more 

Palestinian cuisine is more than what’s on the plateJoudie Kalla is the author to the largely successful cook book Palestine on a Plate which is a union of the recipes Kalla remembers from her mothers and grandmothers kitchens. Like most Palestinians, Kalla’s upbringing took place in the diaspora. It took her from Syria to Qatar and Germany before she ultimately settled in London. Palestine was always close to her heart, or – as she might prefer to put it – her stomach. “We didn’t eat for fuel, we ate for pleasure and everything has a memory connected to it and a feeling and a thought,” she explained. Read more

A defiant remembrance of Kafr Qasem’s dead - For more than 20 years, Palestinian artist Samia Halaby has been researching, interviewing and traveling to assemble material and create art based on the Kafr Qasem massacre of 1956. Halaby’s drawings were originally displayed as an online exhibition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the massacre, yet today they are brought together in a comprehensive and detailed collection. It’s not an easy book to peruse and read. It is a powerful and demanding memorial to the dead, with its endpapers presenting the reader with images of every person killed at Kafr Qasem at first opening – ranging from the photographs of ID cards to drawings conjured by Halaby herself where no photograph remains. Read more