Jerusalem Women’s Organizations During the British Mandate, 1920s-1930s

This paper demonstrates the choice of women living in a society threatened
by an alien culture to define themselves as nationalists rather than as
feminists. Based on the Arab press of the day, British government documents,
interviews, memoirs and pamphlets, the author shows that the civil sector
under the British Mandate opened employment opportunities for educated
women, who mainly came from the upper class, and then began to emerge
into public life, working, volunteering, and becoming politically active. The
paper describes the background, emergence and political activities of the
Palestinian women’s organizations during this time, concluding that these
women activists were neither feminists nor suffragists but were fiercely
nationalistic, struggling for the survival of a Palestinian society threatened
by Zionism.

English / Arabic