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On the Occasion of International Women's Day
Al-Zahraa, PNGO, et al, Palestine
March 7, 2002
Looking towards the eighth of March in the difficult political, social and
economic conditions we, the Palestinian people, live and face, International
Women's Day appears before us all as a day for all women to celebrate, a day
preserved as a moment of opposition and defiance, a symbol of our struggle for human rights and equality that we demand all over the world.
Looking towards the eighth of March, we, Palestinian women, stand defiantly over the graves of our innocent martyrs and children, challenging the
violations of human rights practiced against our people daily.
We stand in defiance, with knowledge of the full tragedy of the Palestinian
people living under oppression and occupation, whose national identity is
marginalized. We stand in defiance, aware that Israeli prisons are filled
with Palestinian men, boys, women and girls; aware that the politics of
"transfer" of Palestinian citizens of Israel is the dialogue of a system
which bases this call in its national framework, laws and very structure.
From here, we, the women of Palestine, assert our struggle for equality in
all aspects of life, and assert our national struggle to end the Occupation, to establish a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and the right of return for every refugee to his and her home.
As women, and as a part of a national minority, we see that changing the
social must be built upon challenging political, economic and legal structures. This is an absolute duty, and a part of our commitment to building a civil society based upon healthy foundations and equality; a civil society we can actively contribute to in all its aspects, in order to realize our full rights as a minority; a minority recognized by the State, according to international law and UN charters.
In the name of all NGOs supporting this statement: Women's groups, feminist
groups, and community-based Palestinian NGOs, we raise our voices loudly,
as one people, demanding international society to provide international
protection for our people, living, dying and existing under occupation. We demand a halt to all forms of war crimes and violations of our human rights which we face daily.
We call upon our civil society partners to build a feminist agenda as an
integral part of their programs for the sake of a just society in which all
are equal without discrimination or abuse.
Finally, we give our greetings in solidarity with all feminists of the world
for the sake of strengthening and deepening the values of freedom,
equality, and justice in our human societies.
Al-Zahraa: An Arab Women's Feminist Organization (Sakhneen)
PNGO: The Network of Palestinian NGOs in the Occupied Palestinian
HRA: The Arab Human Rights Association (Nazareth)
The Women's Studies Center, Birzeit University (Birzeit, OPT)
Assiwar, the Arab Feminist Movement to support Victims of Sexual Abuse
Baladna: The Association of Arab Youth (Haifa)
Kayan: A Feminist Organization (Haifa)
Al-Wafa wal Amal: A Women's Charity Organization (al-Baqa al-Gharbiyya)
The Association of Women in Laqiya (Bir al-Saba)
A Step Forward (Rahat)
The Women's Democratic Movement (Nazareth)