The Institute of Women's Studies at Birzeit University organizes a seminar entitled “Women and Liberation Struggles: Palestine and the Global South- Rethinking Revolutionary Histories and Futures”.
December 11, 2017
On Monday, December 11, 2017, the Institute of Women's Studies at Birzeit University organized a seminar entitled "Women and Liberation Struggles: Palestine and the Global South- Rethinking Revolutionary Histories and Futures” within a research project organized by the A. M. Qattan Foundation in partnership with the Institute of Women’s Studies at Birzeit University, Gallery One and Ramallah Cinema Club. The Vice President for Community Affairs at Birzeit University, Dr. Asem Khalil, opened the seminar day welcoming the audience and emphasizing the importance of this seminar, as it seeks to rethink past and present relationships between feminist histories, women’s movements, women’s representations and the anti-colonial liberation movement in Palestine or across different geographies and struggles”. Mr. Ziad Khalaf, the Director General of Abdel Mohsin Al-Qattan Foundation, spoke about the Women and Revolution Project, which takes the form of a series of interventions leading to a central event through 2019 on women and revolution. After inviting the audience to hold a minute’s silence, the Acting Director of the Institute of Women's Studies, Dr. Lena Meari, began her speech by saying that that the purpose of this activity is not to reflect on the histories of the revolutions and the complex relationship of women within the liberation struggle movements, including the revolution, as a past that has been overtaken and archived in a museum. The purpose is to recall flashes and lessons of the past in order to build the future of the liberation struggle movement that would be different from the current reality experienced by the forces of liberation on the Palestinian, Arab and world level.
Dr. Linda Tabar presented the conceptual framework of the seminar and asked, "How can we address the countless stories of female freedom fighters who shaped liberation struggles, and how to describe the ways they challenged and transformed masculine attitudes? How did they understand power relations and their impact on our lives, and consequently urged us to think about a more liberal future".
The seminar included three sessions, as the first panel entitled “WOMEN AND LIBERATION: PALESTINE AND THE THIRD WORLD’, was moderated by Mrs. Eileen Kuttab. Dr. Amira Silmi presented a paper entitled “Resisting Colonialism as a Condition for Women’s Liberation”, while Prof. R. Aida Hernandez Castillo addressed the issue of “Zapatista Women and the Struggle for Justice in Mexico”. Setting out from her personal experience, Mrs. Rula Abu Duho spoke about the “Palestinian Women Prisoners, the Prisoners’ Movement and the Struggle to Reinforce National Identity”.
The second session, moderated by Dr. Linda Tabar, was entitled “INSIDE LIBERATION MOVEMENTS: BETWEEN THEORY AND PRACTICE’. The first paper, “Between Feminism, Religion and Colonialism: Female Activists in the Islamic Movement in ‘48”, was presented by the researcher Areen Hawari. Mrs. Hazar Hijazi tackled the issue of “Women within Falastinyyat a Movement for Decolonization inside 48”. From Gazza, both Dr. Mohammad Hafi and Dr. Adham Tobail presented a paper on “The Impact of the Islamic Movements on Women’s Role in Palestinian Resistance: The Case of Hamas”.
The third session entitled “CONTEMPORARY STRUGGLES: REBUILDING CONNECTIONS” was moderated by Dr. Rana Barakat. The activist Audrey Huntley talked about the “Colonial Sexual Violence and Indigenous Struggles for Decolonization in Turtle Island”, while Dr. Nidaa Abu Awwad presented a paper on “Social Justice as a Means to Rebuild the Historical Relationship Between the Palestinian Women’s Movement and the National Liberation Movement”.