“No need for a guardian’s permission. Saudi women are free to start their own business freely,” the ministry’s spokesperson Abdul Rahman Al-Hussein tweeted. He also used a hashtag which translates from Arabic as “No Need.”
Women in Saudi Arabia have traditionally been banned from working outside the home but rules have been relaxed in recent years. To start their own businesses, travel or enroll in classes, they had to ask permission from a male “guardian” – a husband, father or brother.
Hiring women is now a key part of Saudi Arabia’s plan to overhaul the oil-dependent economy, known as Vision 2030. The reform also aims to raise the proportion of Saudi women that are active in the workforce from 22 percent to 30 percent. Female unemployment in the kingdom stands at around 33 percent, compared to an overall rate of 12 percent.
“I believe this new approach will open the door to [women] in our homeland to highlight their talents and ideas and translate them into a realistic business with a worthy financial return,” Saudi law consultant Dima Al-Shareef told the Arab News.
“We are witnessing a new era in the empowerment of Saudi women, in the commercial sphere in particular,” she added.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia’s passport office announced 140 jobs for women at airports and border crossings. It received 107,000 applications within a week while the job posting has been viewed more than 600,000 times.
Last year, the Saudi king issued a royal decree allowing women to drive cars and attend sports events. The move has been strongly opposed by some of the kingdom’s prominent clerics.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section
Women and human rights organizations in Egypt marked the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Feb. 6 by announcing an “Anti-FGM Action Plan” to create new policies and mechanisms to reduce these practices against women and young girls in Egypt.
According to the most recent gender-based violence survey conducted by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics in 2015, 9 out of 10 women in Egypt have undergone FGM. In 2014, that figure was about 92% of married women aged between 15 and 49, with 78.4% of the operations performed by doctors and nurses.
Representatives of 146 organizations were present at the press conference, including the Tadwein Gender Research Center, the New Woman Foundation, the Centre for Egyptian Women Legal Assistance, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, the Women’s Center for Legal Guidance and Awareness, Salemah for Women’s Empowerment, the Cairo Center for Development, the Egyptian Coalition on the Rights of the Child and the Union of Associations to Combat Harmful Practices against Women and Children.
Amal Fahmi, the director of Tadwein and the group’s coordinator, told Al-Monitor that efforts by state institutions against FGM practices have not achieved the necessary changes. They have criminalized FGM without setting up a framework to enforce the law or raising awareness of the psychological and physical dangers of female circumcision.
“The situation is getting worse as 80% of FGM procedures are done at the hands of doctors, according to the stats obtained by the anti-FGM associations and organizations. The campaign that was recently launched aims to pressure the government to change its approach, raise awareness through sex education courses in schools in addition to media awareness campaigns against the medicalization of female genital cutting and develop a human rights discourse against FGM with a focus of women’s rights to health and bodily integrity,” Fahmi explained.
Fahmi also stressed the need for the government to enforce the laws criminalizing the custom to act as a deterrent and to stop its spread. She noted that the government will have to train health inspectors, police and prosecutors to monitor for and detect FGM and respond to incidences of it.
Since 2008, when the state added Article 242 to the Penal Code criminalizing FGM, only two cases have been brought to court. The first was in 2015, when the Mansoura Appeals Court sentenced a doctor to two years in prison with hard labor and closed his practice for one year after a child death following a procedure.
Similarly, in July 2016 in Suez, a doctor, anesthetist and the victim’s mother were prosecuted in the death of a girl during a circumcision surgery. They were charged with manslaughter, and each received suspended sentences of one year in prison.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued Law No. 78 of 2016 to amend Article 242. Before that point, the article called for imprisonment between three months and two years or a fine of $282. After the change, those accused of practicing FGM face harsher punishments: imprisonment for a period of no less than five years and no more than seven.
Reda el-Danbouki, the director of the Women’s Center for Legal Guidance and Awareness, told Al-Monitor that the coalition will lobby for an amendment to close a loophole created by Article 61, which allows for violence committed to protect oneself or others against serious physical or moral harm. Danbouki said lawyers or judges could claim circumcision is done for necessary medical reasons, “basing their argument on this article.”
Danbouki added that there is no need to increase FGM-related punishment as the real change will come when the existing law is enforced and the government starts inspecting hospitals and medical centers, punishing perpetrators and raising awareness on the dangers of this practice, which many Egyptians continue to view as necessary according to Sharia despite a fatwa by Dar al-Ifta declaring FGM haram (religiously forbidden).
Azza Soliman, the director of the Centre for Egyptian Women Legal Assistance, told Al-Monitor that the campaign is intended to revitalize the efforts of the human rights organizations that took the first steps to fight FGM in 1997. Back then, their work brought about a drastic change in the rhetoric around FGM, and for the first time people started talking about it as violence against women.
“This group conducted thorough studies on the history of FGM to prove that it was not related to Islam or Pharaonic traditions but rather a practice that originated in Africa. Consequently, they worked to remove the religious framework and basis for this practice and demanded an end to it,” Soliman added.
“In 2003, the organizations’ efforts came to a halt, when the authorities took it upon themselves to combat FGM but failed to bring about a substantial change, prompting the women’s organizations to join hands and try to make a real difference to protect women and young girls against the dangers of this practice,” Soliman added.
Feminists out to destoy jobs for women? & They was kangz after all, according to Disney and Marvel!
Today Dr. Slattery filled in for Dr. Duke and had a discussion with British author and activist Mark Collett. First they went into the subject matter of Mark’s latest video (linked to at the bottom of this page) on how feminists have destroyed the jobs of the Grid Girls of Formula One racing. These beautiful, mostly white women are part of the information distribution infrastructure of the sport, are appreciated by the fans, and love their jobs, but feminists decided that their occupation is demeaning to women and pushed to have them terminated. Meanwhile, pornstars and prostitutes are welcome at feminist marches.
Then they turned their attention to the new Disney film “The Black Panther.” It is already the highest-rated film on the review site Rotten Tomatoes, which is truly astounding seeing as it hasn’t been released yet and no one has seen it. Well done, Kangz of Wakanda! And yet, one might think that all this stoking of the black ego with pure fiction might actually be humiliating to anyone with a critical mind. And speaking of critical minds, they review the debating style of the black YouTuber Tree of Logic, with whom Dr. Duke is scheduled for an upcoming debate.
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Take a look at the Carl Bernstein statement on Jewish Neocons causing the Iraq War, as referenced by Dr. Duke:
Here is Mark Collett’s latest video :
Be sure to check out Mark’s Twitter feed. And follow him while you’re at it.
And here is Mark’s recent livestream interview of Dr. Duke:
The campaign that was launched by German women against migrant violence is becoming very successful. Its video has over 1.5 million views and women from all over Europe are using the 120db hashtag.
The 120 decibel (120db) movement is named after the noise level of the “rape alarms” some women in Germany carry in their handbags. Its campaign was launched last week by a group of women who are increasingly worried about migrant violence and sexual assaults.
After the launch, the 120db campaign was picked up by several big social media users. For example, American conservative Ann Coulter tweeted it and said:
“I wish this ad would run during the #SuperBowl: 120 decibels #120db (the German #metoo).”
On Facebook The Rebel journalist Tommy Robinson posted the 120db campaign video and it skyrocketed to 1.5 million views in a week.
The campaign is also successful on Twitter as the hashtag #120db appears daily. It also gets more international attention as women from Europe and other parts of the world are using the hashtag. Some even post pictures of female victims of migrant violence or terror.
Independent journalist Brittany Pettibone had an interview with one of the women and she explains how it all started:
Other forms of protests have started to emerge in Germany as well. In cities like Cottbus and Kandel there were big protests against migrant violence and several new ones have been planned. Especially women play an important role in Germany’s protests. A “Women’s March” against migrant violence will be organised in Berlin on 17 February.
Chelsea Clinton, the infamous daughter of career criminals Bill and Hillary Clinton, is following in the footsteps of her soon-to-be-imprisoned parents. She recently decided to spout a line of eugenics propaganda on Twitter, linking to an article published in The Washington Post that claims more women need to be allowed to abort their babies in order to prevent “climate change.”
The outlandish op-ed was co-written by none other than suspected pedophile and pervert John Podesta, as well as United Nations globalist Timothy Wirth. It attempts to make the case that women’s “reproductive health rights” are an important part of keeping the global population as low as possible.
“… if environmental activists really want to reduce emissions, raise living standards and build a more sustainable future, they cannot overlook the importance of reproductive rights and health,” the WaPo op-ed claims non-satirically.
“Forging a coalition between the environmental movement and the women’s rights movement will not only fundamentally advance women’s rights but also do a world of good for the planet, which is bearing an environmental burden because of population growth.”
The article even goes so far as to claim that “women’s reproductive health” rights are essential in helping to kill off at least three billion future humans. In so many words, this pro-abortion propaganda says that, without abortion rights, the global population will reach 13 million people by the end of the century. But with these “reproductive tools” in place, the global population could be kept well below 10 billion people.
“… family planning ranks as one of the 10 most substantive solutions to climate change,” the editorial claims, adding that encouraging more abortions is “cost-effective from an emissions reduction perspective,” as the “co-benefits to women and families across the globe are enormous.”
Chelsea Clinton destroyed on Twitter for pushing eugenics propaganda disguised as “women’s health”
In an apparent attempt to sound smart (even though she’s repeatedly proven herself to be dumb as a brick whenever she opens her mouth or gets on Twitter), Chelsea Clinton tweeted that the Podesta co-authored plea for more unborn child murder is an “important read” because it supposedly solidifies “the connection between #climatechange and women’s reproductive health rights.”
It didn’t take long for the Twittersphere to respond in resounding chorus to Clinton’s categorically retarded observations. Several users highlighted the hypocrisy of the article’s rhetorical twist on the word “rights,” which apparently don’t apply to unborn children (and never do when dealing with this category of Democratic dogma). Another stated plainly that climate change is “merely folly and a big hoax.”
Others made joking references to the WaPo article being more “fake news,” posting a hilarious meme depicting CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer reporting on Hillary Clinton being helped up the stairs by two men, with the “spun” caption, “HILLARY HELPS TWO MEN UP STAIRS.”
Another Twitter user posted a picture of global warming hoax master Al Gore alongside pictures of his private jet, limousines, houseboat, and 22-room mansion. As we reported last year, Al Gore’s home consumes 3,400 percent more electricity than the average U.S. home, which makes him an absolute hypocrite (just like Chelsea Clinton and her parents).
“What a bunch of lunacy,” wrote another Twitter user, who posted a similar photo mash-up featuring a photo of Barack Obama alongside a private jet and a 14-car motorcade – which, ironically, was taking the former president to a climate change speech. “Yesterday sandwiches caused climate change. Have any idea how ridiculous these extremists sound?”
To keep up with the latest news on the long-debunked climate change hoax, be sure to visit Climate.news.
Sources for this article include:
The team is competing at the Games under the name ‘Olympic Athletes from Russia’ following the ban imposed on the country by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) amid the ongoing doping scandal.
“The team had an exhausting journey [to South Korea], our luggage was delayed, and we were late for an evening training session,” Aleksey Chistyakov, the head coach of the women’s hockey team, told Match TV on Monday.
“We were forced to conduct a short-handed practice, as more than half of the team was taken by the doping officers, and the girls were late for training. The players are motivated [to achieve good results]. We have spent the last two seasons preparing for the Olympics. Facing such a political situation [amid the doping scandal] we want to prove to everyone that we are a competitive and battle-ready squad,” he added.
The Olympic female ice hockey tournament begins on February 10, the day after the Opening ceremony in PyeongChang. The Russian squad will face off against Canada in their opening game on February 11.
In December, the IOC imposed harsh sanctions on Russia for alleged doping violations, prohibiting more than 50 athletes from participating in the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea. The Russian female ice hockey squad was reduced as a result of the sanctions, as six players who competed at the 2014 Sochi Games were slapped with life bans for any future Olympics.
Inna Dyubanok, Ekaterina Lebedeva, Ekaterina Pashkevich, Anna Shibanova, Ekaterina Smolentseva and Galina Skiba were penalized by the Olympic governing body, which also ruled to annul their sixth place finish at the home Games in Sochi.
Last week, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned the lifetime bans of 28 Russian team members, declaring that the evidence presented by the IOC was “insufficient” to establish that “an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) was committed by the athletes.”
Four national ice hockey players – Ekaterina Lebedeva, Ekaterina Pashkevich, Anna Shibanova and Ekaterina Smolentseva – were among those cleared by CAS. However, the court ruling didn’t allow all the athletes to enter the upcoming Games, as the IOC has refused to invite 13 CAS-approved athletes and two coaches to PyeongChang, after observing “additional elements and/or evidence, which could not be considered by the IOC Oswald Commission because it was not available to it” just days after the CAS decision.
It is expected that WADA’s attention in PyeongChang will be mainly focused on the Russian athletes who were allowed to compete at the Winter Games under the name ‘Olympic Athletes from Russia.’
Political correctness has claimed another victim, this time in the art world.
According to an RT report, a U.K. art gallery has removed a 19th-century painting depicting a naked woman. The gallery claims they did this to spark debate amid the #meToo movement, but we all know this is the start of blatant censorship.
My spidey senses are telling me that book burning is right around the corner.
A state-sponsored forced sterilization on a massive scale has allegedly taken place in Africa according to opposition leaders and the public who are railing against the government. An industrial pharmaceutical laboratory has since had its license suspended by the Kenya Accreditation Service as a result of the controversy.
Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga—who swore himself in as president on Tuesday—claimed that at least 500,000 young girls and women may be infertile, following a tetanus vaccine administered by the government in 2014 and 2015.
The controversy began coming to a head in 2016 when Agriq-Quest Ltd, a Nairobi-based pharmaceutical company got in a dispute with Kenya’s Ministry of Health over their tetanus and polio vaccinations. A group of Catholic doctors originally made the accusations claiming that the vaccines may contain a hormone that is dangerous to young women and can cause potential sterilization.
As the Agence de Presse Africaine reported:
Odinga said girls and women aged between 14 and 49 from the fastest growing populations in the country will not have children, because of a state-sponsored sterilization exercise that was sold to the country as a tetanus vaccination.
The Catholic Church was ignored when it mounted a strong but lonely campaign against the mass tetanus vaccination, after it raised concerns about the safety of the vaccine that was being used, he said.
At the time, the Catholic Church in Kenya claimed that the tetanus vaccine used by the government of Kenya and UN agencies was contaminated with a hormone (hCG) that can cause miscarriages and render some women sterile.
“The Church’s position was informed by what had happened in Mexico, Nicaragua and Philippines, where the various governments together with WHO/UNICEF had conducted similar campaigns using tetanus toxoid impregnated with beta human chorionic gonadotropin (BhCG) that causes permanent infertility among girls and women,” Odinga continued.
Odinga says they confirmed through analysis of samples that the vaccines used were tainted with the hormone.
“Today, we can confirm to the country that the Catholic Church was right. Hundreds of thousands of our girls and women, aged between 14 and 49, from the fastest growing populations in the country will not have children, because of the state-sponsored sterilization that was sold to the country as tetanus vaccination,” he declared.
After Agriq-Quest’s license was suspended, the company pointed the finger at the government. They claimed that the government’s decision to suspend their license was due to the fact that Agriq-Quest refused to doctor the tests for them.
According to Business Dailly Africa, when Agriq-Quest conducted the tests on the vaccines, they found the Catholic Church’s suspicions to be correct.
As BDA reported, “The company’s results from tests carried out on the vials showed that the samples of the vaccines were contaminated as had been claimed by the Catholic Church and Agriq-Quest claimed the government wanted the results altered to show that they were fit to be administered to women and children.”
According to Odinga, as reported by APA, the government, for some mysterious reason, was hell-bent on misleading the country, while intentionally sterilizing Kenyan girls and women.
“The vaccines were a great crime committed against women. Women should choose when to have children and how to space them,” he said.
It is important to point out that the belief that tetanus vaccinations sterilizing citizens has been a long time controversy in Kenya and has been disproven prior to these claims.
Also, after the discussion came to a head, in spite of claims of tests showing contamination, UNICEF and the World Health Organization later said that the vaccines were safe and procured from a pre-qualified manufacturer.
However, according to Odinga, they accessed the analysis from four highly-regarded institutions, such as Agriq Quest Ltd, the Nairobi Hospital Laboratories, the University of Nairobi and Lancet Kenya.
“These results all indicate that the Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine had high contents of beta human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (BhCG) that causes sterility in women.”
Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/pharma-co-vaccine-license-sterilization/
‘Sometimes they feel shame, even though we know that they are our enemy and they do this to break us,’ said one former woman prisoner
Bethlehem, West Bank – “I remember he brought his chair closer, opened his legs and sat very close to me. It was something ugly for me. It made me feel that he was trying to attack my body,” Khawla al-Azraq said, as she recalled the physical intimidation tactics and sexual harassment used by Israeli interrogators when she was only a teenager.
Decades later, al-Azraq, who is now 54, still shudders at the memory of Israeli interrogators brushing their hands across her legs to sexually intimidate her.
“They would sit in a way to be very close to us, to touch our bodies. I remember it was terrible for me at that age,” she said.
Al-Azraq is a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council. Since the age of 14, she has been arrested by Israeli forces four times for her involvement with Fatah and taking part in protests against the Israeli occupation. When she was only 18, she was sentenced to three years in prison.
“The torture, ill treatment, and degrading treatment start from the first moment of the arrest,” said Sahar Francis, director of Addameer, a Palestinian prisoners’ rights group.
She added that women who wear the hijab would often get into heated arguments with soldiers to let them put their headscarves on, before being detained from their homes.
Periods of interrogation are largely described as the most violent part of the detention process, in which women are not only subjected to physical and psychological torture – such as being tied in stress positions, sleep deprivation and beatings – but to methods targeting them specifically because of their gender.
“The interrogator will shout in their faces, try to intimidate them with some sexual words and insults, or start teasing them if they’re married, asking her what her husband is doing while she is imprisoned,” Francis told Middle East Eye.
While Israeli forces are mandated to have a female officer present during the interrogation of women, the former prisoners said that these officers did little to ensure their safety, often even serving as cover for the verbal and physical abuse that took place during interrogations.
“Sometimes the interrogator will talk to us in a sexual way, and they will use her (the female soldier) to say that we are lying when we say they beat us,” said Shireen Issawi, a prominent lawyer who spent five years in prison, including four years for transferring money to Palestinian prisoners. Issawi was released in October 2017.
According to the former prisoners, female officers were rarely present during the long trips back and forth from Israeli courts. They would spend up to 12 hours in transit handcuffed to iron seats in the back of prison vans, sometimes subjected to lewd comments by the Israeli guards transporting them.
Khitam Saafin, the leader of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, said that Israeli soldiers mostly target younger women and sexually harass them during these long journeys.
“They are exhausted; they suffer a lot; they are alone without any older people to take care of them and they are the ones mostly targeted with sexual harassment,” she said.
Saafin spent three months in administrative detention without being charged and accused Israeli soldiers of taking naked photos of her on their phones while being strip-searched following her arrest.
While some Palestinian women have spoken up about being raped in Israeli custody, for many it is a difficult topic to address because of social taboos.
Additionally, authoritative data on the prevalence of sexual assault on Palestinians in Israeli prisons is not available.
However, a 2016 report by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), an Israeli human rights organisation, estimated that some four percent of male respondents had been subjected to some form of sexual torture.
Francis emphasised that these practices are not lone acts committed by individual members of the Israeli armed forces.
“It’s not something that’s done by an individual soldier who decided to humiliate or mistreat [the prisoners],” she said. “It’s part of the process, part of the policy, in order to affect the entire society and put it under pressure… because they are aware that [gender] is a sensitive subject in Palestinian society.”
‘This made me stronger’
According to Addameer, there are currently 58 women being held in Israeli prisons.
While this figure is far less than around 6,000 Palestinian male prisoners, women detainees have faced more difficult incarceration conditions in some areas.
According to Francis, women suffer from the same restrictions as men do when it pertains to family visits. However, the fact that all women are detained inside Israel makes it more challenging for relatives to see them, as they must first obtain permits.
According to Addameer, Palestinian female prisoners are mainly held in two prisons located inside Israel, HaSharon and Damon, in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention regulating the detention of prisoners.
“When I was a mother, it was so difficult. I can’t express in words how I was feeling at the time,” al-Azraq said of her 25-day interrogation in 1991 for her participation in protests during the First Intifada.
At the time, her first son Khaled was only two and a half years old.
It was a difficult period for her whole family, as her husband Issa Qarage, who is currently the head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, was also in prison.
According to al-Azraq, during the same period her sister-in-law was killed by Israeli forces.
“This made me stronger,” she said. “I didn’t say anything because I wanted to go back to my son.” Al-Azraq was released after 25 days.
Israel classifies all Palestinians detained in its custody as “security prisoners”, whether they are accused of throwing stones, posting what is deemed “incitement” on social media or killing an officer. But Palestinians insist that they are “political prisoners” who are detained either for trumped-up charges or in violation of their right to resist occupation as enshrined in international law.
Inadequate medical care
One of the main issues that advocates have repeatedly brought up has been inadequate medical care, especially following the recent campaign surrounding Israa Jaabis’s dire need for medical treatment after 65 percent of her body was burned and eight of her fingers needed to be amputated.
“The prison system says it offers the basic medical service, but honestly we think not, because the main treatment they offer for anything is a painkiller, unless you reach a really serious condition,” Francis said.
Francis also highlighted rarer cases of imprisoned pregnant women, saying that at least two Palestinians had given birth while in Israeli custody, under extremely difficult circumstances.
“It is a very humiliating process. Imagine that they tie you to the bed right until you’re about to give birth and immediately after giving birth, they will handcuff one hand and one leg back to the bed,” she said. “They won’t allow a family member to be present. Imagine a stranger, a policewoman, is standing beside your bed while you’re giving birth.”
Francis added that children under the age of two can accompany their mothers in prison, yet there are few arrangements made for the children’s well-being.
Meanwhile, more mundane aspects of women’s health also become a struggle, particularly when women are in interrogation centres.
“When I had my period, they just gave me paper tissues,” Issawi said.
“They didn’t take into consideration that we have special needs, that our bodies are not like men’s. I didn’t have any rights as a woman.”
Because of insufficient medical care, women have had to step in to take care of their sick or disabled fellow prisoners, despite most not having any nursing experience.
“We took the role of the nurse, the doctor, the social worker,” Issawi said.
The Israel Prison Service did not respond to MEE on allegations of sexual assault, harassment, and medical neglect by the time of publication.
While there is a limit to the number of books available at any given time to both Palestinian men and women detained by Israel, the smaller number of female prisoners means there are fewer books for them. This restricts their access to education and knowledge.
Saafin described how an NGO representative visiting HaSharon while she was being held there was shocked by the number of books available.
“The library of [imprisoned Fatah leader] Marwan Barghouti is bigger than these women’s library,” he reportedly said.
‘They called us mamma’
In spite – or sometimes, because of – the harsh incarceration conditions, female Palestinian prisoners develop a strong sense of solidarity, relying on each other for support.
“It was the best community I’ve experienced, because we all were equal. We shared everything. Nothing belonged to you except your underwear,” al-Azraq said of her time in prison in the 1980s.
“You feel this very strong connection,” Saafin said. “If the prisoners don’t have solidarity, then they don’t survive.”
Older female prisoners, many of whom have been detained several times since their youth, have taken the younger detainees under their wings.
According to Francis, this number has increased since 2015, with nine girls under the age of 18 currently imprisoned.
“When the children came to prison, we took care of them, we gave them clothes,” Issawi said. “Sometimes they called us ‘mamma’.”
A teacher by profession, Saafin and other adult prisoners said they did their best to complement the classes provided to them by prison authorities, where a teacher visits three times a week and covers only the subjects of Arabic, English, and mathematics.
Saafin said the attitude of the younger girls inspired her, as they persisted in continuing their studies in spite of the minimal access to instruction and restricted number of books.
“Most of the young female prisoners were hopeful,” she said. “I’m happy that I met them, because they also gave me hope.”
The former prisoners empathised with Ahed Tamimi, who on 31 January turned 17 in Israeli custody.
“In the case of Ahed Tamimi, I saw myself,” said Issawi, whose family has long been targeted by Israeli forces. “This was my childhood.”
“As a mother, I know exactly how difficult it is for children like Ahed,” al-Azraq said. “I know it will be hard for them and it will affect them their whole life.”
Life after prison
The effects of imprisonment continue long after these women are released. Decades later, al-Azraq said she experiences shortness of breath in enclosed spaces and feels claustrophobic even in the shower.
According to Issawi, she still suffers from back and arm pain after having been handcuffed to an iron chair during a month-long interrogation period.
On top of her health issues, since being released she has been unable to resume her work as a lawyer due to efforts to disbar her because of her previous conviction.
Francis believes that the main issue for former prisoners remains insufficient psychological support.
“It’s related to our perception of prisoners as heroes. We put them in a space where we as a society are not allowing them to feel weak, to feel that they need such support.”
Al-Azraq said that some women she knows, who had been raped in Israeli custody in the early 1970s, still struggle to talk about their experiences.
“Sometimes they feel shame, even though we know that they are our enemy and they do this to break us,” she said in a trembling voice.
Al-Azraq expressed pride in the small but persistent number of Palestinian women who in spite of the risks have taken an active role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“They believe they have the same role as men and they can do things in the same way or better than men. They are fighters against the occupation and it’s their right.”