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Cross-border women’s strike unites feminists across the Arab world

Jerusalem24 – A one-day, international cross-border feminist strike took place yesterday across the Arab world.

The Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development (PWWSD) participated in the event here in Palestine.

The participation was an answer to an international call across all Arab countries to stand against all violence and abuse faced by women.

The event took the form of protests, sit-ins, as well as an online event promoted through Facebook.

The PWWSD released a statement calling for respecting the humanity of women and stopping violence against them.

The strike was organized in the wake of the killing of Naira Ashraf and Iman Arshdy, students at the Mansoura University in Egypt and the University of Applied Sciences in Jordan respectively.

Palestinian women, and Arab women generally, “suffer from all forms of gender-based violence, which target their role in the public and private spheres, and aims to confiscate their right to participate in their societies as full-fledged citizens.”

The statement highlights the killing of Naira Ashraf and Iman Arshdy, “and many other misdeeds in the Arab world.” PWWSD also calls out the general public reaction to such news: “Killing women is only passing news. It is also not restricted to a specific category of male, as Naira and Iman were both killed by two colleagues at university.”

The statement also took care to highlight the struggle of Palestinian women against the Israeli occupation, as they are “subjected to the violence of the occupation soldiers at military checkpoints and inside their homes.”

“29 Palestinian women are detained in the occupation prisons in inhumane conditions and contrary to international norms. […] Female prisoners in the occupation prisons are subjected to the worst forms of oppression and abuse.”

PWWSD also mentions the death of the Palestinian prisoner Saadia Matar, who, at 68, was one of the oldest prisoners in Israeli captivity, and a mother to eight children.

PWWSD concludes by calling for “building a safety net to protect women” and “holding all perpetrators of violence against women accountable.”

The poster calling on women to strike on 6 July 2022. [Source: Social media]

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