The Women's Movement During the Uprising
The early days of the uprising in the occupied territories yielded striking images of Palestinian women marching in the streets, schoolgirls throwing stones at soldiers, older women carrying baskets of stones on their heads to supply younger demonstrators, women arguing and tussling with the authorities to win the release of an arrested boy. Given this unaccustomed public profile, some commentators began referring to the intifada not only as a "shaking off" of military rule, but as a social revolution in its own right in which the younger generation rebelled against their elders, street activists rebelled against the authority of the PLO, and women rebelled against their traditional place in a patriarchal society.
Joost R. Hiltermann is a sociologist and writer. This essay was excerpted from his book on the Palestinian labor and women's movements, which is due to be published by Princeton University Press in 1991.