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Women and the third Intifada

Throughout the past three weeks we have seen a rise in Israeli aggression towards the Palestinian peoples, the term aggression being used lightly as in reality its genocide. Of all the horrible images and footage being released by various news outlets, social media etc the most striking has been the mobilisation of Palestinian women.

The female protesters are not just the students or the activists, they are women from all ages and with different backgrounds. They are standing side by side with their brothers and comrades in an attempt to repel foreign occupation and stop the injustice of the populace. They are fighting on the frontlines and engaging in riots, collecting rocks, distributing water and organising marches – this is a social revolution in its own right. In previous Intifada’s women had been involved, however their social and political position within society remained the same, although today it seems women have addressed their position within society and aligned it with national liberation.

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Here at home women have played a huge role in the struggle for self determination with the formation of Na Fianna hÉireann by Constance Markievicz (and others). There was also the formation of Inghinidhe na hÉireann (Daughters of Ireland) which later evolved into Cumann na mBan – all of which were crucial to the 1916 rising and later movements.

Before the 1917 revolution in Russia, women made up half the labour force and on International Women’s Day 1917 women textile workers had gone on strike. As a result the workers elected delegates to represent women workers. The October Revolution brought about equal pay, paid maternity leave and also the right to vote – even futher by the end of November 1917 there had been 500 delegates representing 80,000 women factory workers.

The fight for women’s liberation still continues today in different countries throughout the world, we can see the flame is lit in Palestine and it will grow untill all ineqaulities are eroded. Viva La Palestine.

Seanchaí

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