Women's Organizations During the British Mandate,
by Ellen Fleischmann
|March 1995 (English, Pp. 49, and Arabic, Pp. 49)|
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.