Women’s Day: Solidarity Day with Haana Al-Shalabi

A call for women’s and feminist organizations to announce International Women’s Day as a day of solidarity with administrative detainee Haana Al-Shalabi and all female prisoners and women in the families of Palestinian prisoners.

Solidarity with Hanaa Shalabi, a Palestinian woman prisoner on a hunger strike to protest her administrative detention by the Israeli authorities

 

Women’s Day, marked on 8 March, is a symbolic day to remind us of the struggle that women of the world go through to break the chains of sexism because they are women. However, there are different categories of women. Whilst some women struggled for liberation and equality – for example against discrimination in terms of the right to vote and be elected, women were sexist towards women of other ethnic groups or on the basis of gender and race.

 

In Palestine, Women’s Day is a day of struggle. Despite the achievements of some significant things, which were achieved as a result of long paths of struggle, we shouldn’t celebrate yet as we are still Palestinian women, whether in Palestine 1948 or in the West Bank and Gaza or the Diaspora suffering from colonialism, occupation, discrimination and racism. Women of the West Bank and Gaza Strip suffer from the consequences of the occupation, and in Palestine 1948, we suffer from racism institutionalized in the laws and the fact that the state is the state of Israel, the state is built on our land and has torn our families apart.

 

Palestinian women suffered the most from the occupation and the establishment of the Jewish state. They experienced the migration, separation, and non-settlement in neighbouring countries. They continue to live at risk of institutionalized discrimination, the risk of local displacement and uprooting, as in the Negev, and continue to live at risk of having their families torn apart by the law of racial citizenship…

 

Our women have suffered from captivity in the past during the British Mandate period, and have suffered from emergency laws used by the British, including that of administrative detention.

 

Palestinian activist Sathej Nassar, Editor of Carmel magazine and wife of activist Najib Nassar, was the first ever political Palestinian woman prisoner. Nasser was arrested on 23 March 1939 under Emergency Law No. 15B, which permitted administrative detention, and she was imprisoned in the city of Bethlehem until 23 February 1940. The British called Nassar “a very dangerous woman”.

 

The British Mandate government arrested numerous Palestinian women and put them in prison for up to ten years for hiding or smuggling arms, and this happened during the general strike and the great revolution in 1936. In 1937, the feminist activist Maseel Maghanam wrote a book in English entitled The Arab Woman and the Palestine Problem, writing “do not talk about women’s rights as long as we under occupation.” Maghanam meant that women needed complete liberation of the entire system of occupation that suppress freedoms and initiates violence.

 

In the case of Palestinian women, the Jewish state helped in continuing this violence, killing and detaining women and failing to provide awareness and prevention of abuse deriving from the harsh socio-economic conditions experienced by Palestinian families (e.g. unemployment, poverty, displacement and home demolitions). Palestinian women still pay the price, and suffer from the occupation and its consequences. The Separation Wall has further dismembered families and hindered human family communication.

 

Our women pay the price in captivity, detention, investigation and insults, and pay the price of the longest running occupation and colonial system following an end of the apartheid system in South Africa.

 

Women and young girls pay the price for their family members’ captivity, and suffer discrimination in prison against them and their families because of prison policies, , which prevent any physical contact between the political prisoners and their families. While Jewish political prisoners and Palestinian and Jewish criminals are allowed physical contact with their family members, this basic human need is not respected for political prisoners. Israeli prisons do not allow Palestinian captives to hug their families, even in the most difficult moments, as in cases of death.

 

Palestinian detainee Haana Al-Shalabi announced that she is on hunger strike to protest her administrative arrest after she was released in the “Wafaa Al-Ahrar” prisoner exchange in October 2011.

 

Israel is currently holding 307 Palestinians n administrative detention, which is detention without charges or indictment. Of these, three are women and there are a total of six Palestinian women political prisoners in Israeli prison, after the majority were released in the aforementioned prisoner exchange.

 

Let’s announce the 8th of March as a day of solidarity with Palestinian prisoners, and to unite frameworks and women’s movements behind this cause.

 

Janan Abdu … Palestinian feminist activist and wife of political prisoner Ameer Makhoul




For all other posts for Hana’ Ash-Shalabi
Hana’ Yayha Shalabi – Action Alert
Hana’ Yayha Shalabi – Addameer Prisoner support
Palestinian Hunger Strikers: A History

Palestine’s Prisoners – Pictures
Palestinian Prisoners Special Topic
Palestinian Prisoners –Category
The History of Israeli Torture – Topic
All posts about Torture – Category

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