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Palestine: “No Liberation Without Free Women”

Monday 21 October 2019, by Joseph Daher

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In September 2019, following a new feminicide in the West Bank in the occupied territories, a Palestinian feminist movement, TALIAAT, was set up.

?Young Palestinian women activists mobilized around the TALIAAT movement to denounce all physical, psychological, economic and political violence under the slogan "no free country without women’s liberation" or "dignity, freedom, social justice".

According to official figures, nineteen Palestinian women have been victims of femicide since the beginning of the year. The actual figures are probably higher. Despite an amendment to article 99 of the Palestinian Criminal Code in 2018, which allows judges to reduce sentences for so-called "honour crimes", reports show that feminicide is on the rise in the West Bank, Gaza and the Palestinian community in Israel.

Broad support and some attacks

The TALIAAT movement mobilized for the first time in Ramallah on 26 September, bringing together about 100 women after further violence by a man against his wife. Other demonstrations were held at the same time throughout historic Palestine, including in the cities of Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa, Nazareth and the Gaza Strip, as well as abroad, such as in Beirut and Berlin, calling for a "unified cry" in support of Palestinian women. Women’s movements in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in Tunisia and Algeria, have expressed their support for the mobilizations.

Despite this broad support, the movement has been attacked by conservative and reactionary Palestinian sectors, accusing it in particular of "distorting the image of the Palestinian man to serve external agendas". In other words, TALIAAT is accused of betraying the Palestinian cause.

On the contrary, many Palestinian feminist and progressive sectors have affirmed the connection between women’s struggles and the liberation of their people against Israel’s colonial, racist and apartheid state. Yet, mobilized Palestinian women have affirmed that any liberation and emancipation project, including the fight against toxic masculinity, patriarchy and violence against women, must be deeply rooted in Palestinian political and social movements to fight against the Israeli colonial project. They also called for opposition to attempts by the State of Israel to recover their movement. As the movement’s main slogan proclaims: "this revolution is a decision against patriarchy and colonialism".

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