Palestinian Women's Activism: Nationalism, Secularism, Islamism

Islah Jad

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Jad traces the transformation of the Palestinian women's movement from the 1930s to the post-Oslo period and through the Second Intifada to examine the often-fraught relationship between women and nationalism in Palestine. Offering one of the first intensive studies of Islamist women's activism, Jad also explores the impact of emerging feminist NGOs in depoliticizing the secular Palestinian women's movement. Studying these two developments together illuminates the nature of women's engagement in the Palestinian space, challenging myths of gender roles' "immutability" under Islam and the supposed "modernizing" benefits of Western-style activism.

Shortlisted for the 2019 Palestine Book Award



An innovative contribution to two sets of literature that have, until now, not been discussed together: first, women and nationalist movements; and, second, women and Islamist movements.-Nicola Pratt "coeditor of Women and War in the Middle East"

Jad's book adds to a rich literature on women's activism in Palestine, shedding much-needed light on the activism of Islamist women, and opens doors for further research. _ "Journal of Palestine Studies"

This thoughtful and well-documented study offers a trenchant analysis of some of the dysfunctional consequences of donor-assisted gender platforms in post-Oslo Palestine and the conundrums posed by the simultaneous struggle for women's rights and national liberation. A very valuable contribution to the fields of gender, nationalism, and social movements in the Middle East. - "Deniz Kandiyoti, editor of Gendering the Middle East"


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