By: Dr.Sahar Alkawasmeh
Roles for Social Change Association-ADWAR
The scenes that I see every day in my homeland, Palestine, struck me about the outbreak of the Corona virus, as I watched closely what was going on through TV, and I dealt closely with the security services and all government institutions.
It is clear that I admired the government’s performance and its remarkable and distinguished role in fighting the Corona virus, and the role of the security services and the police in their concern for the safety and security of Palestinian citizens, and I was very pleased with the role of the Palestinian National TV and displayed at all times the latest developments about this emerging virus.
In addition to the good and effective organization in the media in terms of timing and also the use of experts and experts and a set of programs, which were displayed on that screen in order to educate our Palestinian community about avoiding infection with this virus.
I also liked this effective and constructive coordination between state institutions, the private sector, and associations, as well as youth volunteer work, all of which came to work to limit the spread of this pandemic that afflicted us.
Here, I would like to share with everyone my own experience that led me to write this article, when I was following my office and field work even a little during these difficult days that our Palestinian people live, when I crossed one of the Palestinian checkpoints in Bethlehem, where a group of National Security asked me about a reason Move and see my commitment to safety precautions for others.
After I passed the barrier, I remembered these scenes in my imagination and told myself how much I wished to see these measures and this care when the women leaders and women organizations were attacked in general, that our protection from that societal, rhetorical and inflammatory violence against us when the campaign of incitement against the Convention against all forms of discrimination was carried out Against Women CEDAW in late 2019.
And here I stopped … and I spoke to myself as I had a set of thoughts, that all these actions, attitudes we can do this if we only want, even if we are under occupation, we have proven that we are a government and people who are able to work hard and real in order to protect our right to live Health, peace and security.
Our capabilities and funds did not limit us, and we proved to the international and Arab world that we are distinguished and are ahead of other countries in the whole world.
I would also like to point out that it is no secret to anyone that the sense of responsibility has increased and our confidence in our government has increased, and this is no room for doubt, when this feeling did not arise for me alone, but I also touched it with many women in particular and Palestinian society in general.
For the first time in my life, I felt that I was in a country cooperating with me as a person and as a citizen, that I had rights in it, and that my government desperately wanted to protect me and was keen on my safety and security.
At the same time, as if something had said to me, wait, do not forget what happened with you months ago and the rest of the women, at the end of the year 2019, which is harsh for us as women, when the women leaders were attacked by the reactionary force and we were called in the ugliest terms and questioning our loyalty, morals and patriotism.
I do not conceal to everyone and this is the first time I say publicly that I experienced painful, sad and disappointed feelings from the Palestinian government and people in general, feelings I could not write at the time, but I had expressed it with my colleagues in the Palestinian women movement.
Where I felt that I am an unprotected insult, I do not live in safety and peace, and that my trust in the Palestinian government is non-existent because I have not seen before it any speech, action, policy that contributes to my protection of Palestinian women and Palestinian national women organization.
I said that such a government does not want her at all and does not represent me as a Palestinian citizen, as it does not protect me as a citizen and a human being and it has not appreciated my contribution towards empowering Palestinian women and girls.
After those dark months of my life and the life of the Palestinian women movement, the Corona virus came to explode energies, encourage initiatives and stimulate the will of the Palestinian government to prove to me and the women of Palestine that they can, yes, you can and our government has demonstrated to us that it not only has the will but also the ability to protect and promote the right in Palestinian society.
It has also demonstrated its prowess in planning, organizing, coordinating, mobilizing resources and recruiting, which confirmed to me my deep sense and inner voice that our Palestinian government can do even better than this if it wants to do so.
This prompted me to go to my government with a question, and it has always proved to us as women that you are able to lead and be a protector and fair, why did you abandon us as women when hate speech spread against us a handful of men’s half to explain the closure of national women organizations.
Why did the Palestinian government not make any statements referring to our rights as women citizens, as long as you are able to do so?
Our issues as women are always and never left on the sidelines and not of concern to the Palestinian government.
In the end, what I would like to say is that the emotional state that I experienced as a woman in the past months and now is contradictory between sadness, joy, pain, safety, fear and trust.
It made me believe that we can build a Palestinian society based on social justice and respect for equal rights, when that government that we want that has adopted the same plans and speeches that it applied in the fight against the Corona virus, is in implementing laws protecting women’s rights such as the Law on the Protection of the Palestinian Family and Personal Status, even if it does The government to reach the society we want, which is a Palestinian society based on justice, respect for pluralism, and the rule of law.