Palestinian women discuss statehood

From the November-December 2011 issue of News & Letters:

Palestinian women discuss statehood

Ramallah, Palestine—The Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development (PWWSD) organized a political discussion on the UN approach to Palestin­ian statehood. Mrs. Amal Khreishe, the general direc­tor, facilitated the meeting, which hosted Mr. Bassan Essalhi, the secretary of the Palestinian Popular Party, and Mr. Hanna Eissa, an expert in international law.

Khreishe explained that such a political meeting is an important means of spreading awareness among Palestinians on the UN bid. She asked: What is the Sep­tember battle, and what are our demands? What comes after addressing the Security Council? Why do we ad­dress the international community? What do women want from this bid and which kind of state do we seek?

Dr. Francois Dawoud, the president of the PWWSD, spoke about Palestinian aspirations and concerns of this approach, pointing out Mah­moud Abbas’s speech, which emphasized gender equality as an important pillar on which to build a democratic Palestinian state. She accentuated women’s important participation in planning the national strategies, and their significant role in the political life and the decision-making cycle.

Dr. Hanna Eissa explained laws and international resolutions issued in regards to the Palestinian cause and the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, hinting that 126 countries are willing to recognize Palestine as an in­dependent state in the UN. He touched on future UN scenarios. He sees another struggle which requires the reunification of all Palestinian fronts and the reconcili­ation between the political parties in order to reinforce the position of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the cause it represents: the achievement of free­dom, the right of return, and the independence of a Pal­estinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Bassam Essalhi claimed that the demand for UN recognition of Palestinian statehood will reinforce the Palestinian position, and end a phase of U.S. hegemony over the peace process, through bringing it back into the UN. He explained recognition of statehood at the UN will change the status of the occupied Palestinian ter­ritories to the occupied country of Palestine. Therefore, there will be a need to redefine the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, addressing the new developments, changing the rules of the negotiations to revolve around ending the occupation and not the borders.

PWWSD

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