Country / Region profile of: Palestine

Ongoing armed conflict and poltical turmoil make it immensely difficult for Palestinian women to advocate for women's rights. Continued war in Gaza has had a significant effect on women and children who bear the brunt of the violence and conflict. Women have been forced to flee, have been rendered homeless, and continue to face marginalisation. Women have generally been excluded from formal negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and largely relegated to supporting roles. Initially, the negotiating team for the Palestinian Occupied Territories included several women at the Madrid Peace Conference and following talks in Washington in 1991. Their participation in the process has since then decreased and the delegation no longer has any women at the highest levels.  However, women have been involved in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking for decades through largely unofficial channels. Palestine was not ranked by the Global Gender Gap Index for 2016, but it acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 2014. The Palestinian Authority has yet not signed nor ratified the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). In 2016 the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, made up of a collaboration of women peace activists from Palestine, Israel, and other countries attempted to break the Gaza blockade. Though the attempt was unsuccessful, it was a prime example of the work being conducted by Israeli and Palestinian women to build peace between their two nations. In October 2016, the Palestinian Center for Policy Research and Strategic Studies (Masarat) held a women's peace table in Gaza to bring together women leaders from across the state and redefine the roll of women in the Palestinian peace process. 


"I believe women can help advance peace if they draw on the injustice they have experienced as women and apply that to this conflict" - Nadia Hijab