The Emergence of the Palestinian Women's Movement, 1929-39
In 1929, Palestinian women inaugurated their involvement in organized political activism with the founding of a women's movement. This article examines the first ten years of that movement, highlighting its contradictions, strategies, and achievements against the back- ground of mounting political conflict and the Arab Revolt. Arguing that the movement, though not "feminist" in the contemporary sense, had a pronounced gender consciousness, the author shows how the women's implicit critique of gender norms constituted a major element in their oppositional strategies and tactics.
Ellen L. Fleischmann is assistant professor of history at the University of Dayton. This article is adapted from a book in progress based on her doctoral dissertation, "The Nation and Its 'New' Women: Feminism, Nationalism, Colonialism, and the Palestinian Women's Movement, 1920-1948," Georgetown University, 1996. Research was funded by a Fulbright-Hays Research Abroad Grant (Jerusalem, 1992-93) and a National Endowment for the Humanities postdoctoral grant at the American Center for Oriental Research (Amman, 1999).