A number of nongovernmental organizations, most of which receive funding from the UN or from various European countries, purport to be dedicated to improving the lives of Palestinian women. In fact, writes Hodaya Shahar, they are just additional wings of the Palestinian national movement:
Last year, the Palestinian organization Women’s Affairs Technical Committee dedicated a youth center for girls in the Palestinian town of Burka. This was made possible thanks to funding from the UN and countries such as Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, and Sweden.
The center was named after Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist who led one of the most lethal terrorist attacks in Israel, killing 37 people, including twelve children, on a bus in 1978. When the donor countries found out, they issued a strong condemnation, saying the money was misused and departed from the original purpose for which it was given. Denmark even went so far as to freeze the funds it had earmarked for the organization. But this was too little, too late. . . . [Such] women [as Mughrabi] and many others have become role models for Palestinian girls and women, who will walk down their violent path and target Israelis. . . .
Women in the Arab world tend to have little if any freedom. Oppressive cultural traditions such as honor killings, female circumcision, child marriage, and restrictions on their freedom of movement, speech, and occupation have resulted in women staying at the lower rungs of society.
With the help of foreign assistance, the situation has become absurd: Palestinian women and their lack of equality are all but forgotten in Palestinian society, reinforcing their underprivileged status and hardships. Women’s rights are essential if society is to advance and thrive. Unfortunately, when it comes to Palestinian society, “women’s empowerment” is just a ruse for promoting the violent struggle against Israel.
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