1st Edition

Palestinian Women and Popular Resistance Perceptions, Attitudes, and Strategies

By Liyana Kayali Copyright 2021
    260 Pages
    by Routledge

    260 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores Palestinian women’s views of popular resistance in the West Bank and examines factors shaping the nature and extent of their involvement. Despite the signing of the Oslo peace accords in 1993 and 1995, the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the contemporary period have experienced tightened Israeli occupational control and worsening political, humanitarian, security, and economic conditions.

    Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted with women in the West Bank, this book looks at how Palestinian women in the post-Oslo period perceive, negotiate, and enact resistance. It demonstrates that, far from being ‘apathetic’, as some observers have charged, Palestinian women remain deeply committed to the goals of national liberation and wish to contribute to an effective popular resistance movement. Yet many Palestinian women feel alienated from prevailing forms of collective popular resistance in the OPT due to the low levels of legitimacy they accord them. This alienation has been made stark by the gendered and intersecting impacts of expanding settler-colonialism, tightening spatial control, a professionalised and depoliticised civil society, reinforced patriarchal constraints, Israeli and Palestinian Authority (PA) repression and violence, and a deteriorating economy - all of which have raised the barriers Palestinian women face to active participation.

    Undertaking a gendered analysis of conflict and resistance, this volume highlights significant changes over the course of a long-running resistance movement. Readers interested in gender and women’s studies, the Arab-Israel conflict and Middle East politics will find the study beneficial.


    1. Palestinian Women, Nonviolence, and Social Movements

    2. Palestinian Women’s Pre-Oslo Activism

    3. The Space for Resistance Constricts: Post-Oslo Palestine

    4. Palestinian Women’s ‘Disengagement’

    5. Palestinian Women’s Perceptions of Resistance Actions

    6. Palestinian Women’s Alternative Resistance Strategies




    Liyana Kayali is a lecturer at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University (ANU). Prior to this, Liyana was a research fellow at the University of Sussex, where she was part of a project examining the use of restorative justice approaches to respond to hate crime and hate incidents. She has also held a research associate role at the Centre for Gender Studies within the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.