Palestinian Women’s Voices Challenging Human Rights Activism


Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Nadera, and Sana Khsheiboun. 2009. “Palestinian Women’s Voices Challenging Human Rights Activism.” Women’s Studies International Forum 32 (5): 354–62. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2009.07.012.

Authors: Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Sana Khsheiboun


A recent study in the Occupied Territories has shown that the most vulnerable groups of society (women, children, and the elderly) are psychologically influenced by the attacks on Palestinian home and land. Psychological and sociological research in Gaza has shown that women suffer the most from psychosomatic problems, while the children and the elderly are subject to depression, severe trauma, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Women's testimonies in the region have demonstrated their capacity to protect themselves, their work, and even their studies despite the dangers involved. These appear to heighten women's defensive mechanisms for facing continuously aggressive acts and practices. Women's stories about homelessness and loss are mainly constructed through their own understanding that the attack on the Palestinian home is part of a larger trend of dominating military forces against the Palestinian ‘Other’. Women have maintained that the destruction of their homes hindered their own progress especially in the domain of protecting family unity, and they have concluded that it is precisely the goal of such policies to destabilize society in this manner. This article uses case studies and interviews with Palestinian women to support a socio-political analysis of this particular situation in the Occupied Territories.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Rights, Human Rights Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2009

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