Tuesday marks International Women’s Day, a global celebration of women. In Palestine, rallies and conferences were organized to celebrate this day. These provided a chance and space to reflect on the achievement of Palestinian women, and the many steps still needed to attain full equality with men. To commemorate this special occasion, we have interviewed two Palestinian women representing different women’s organizations engaging in extraordinary work aimed at achieving gender equality.

The first interview is with Rania Khayyat, the head of public relations for the Rural Women’s Development Society (RWDS). RWDS, which was formed in 1987, aims at empowering Palestinian women in rural areas by supporting and creating local women’s clubs. The club’s purpose is to give women space to develop themselves in order to attain more representation in all aspects of Palestinian society, including social, political and economic spheres. According to RWDS, the clubs ‘are committeed to the principles of equality, equity and civil society values.’ RWDS has established 65 women’s clubs, with more than 4,300 members. For more information, visit the RWDS website: http://www.rwds.ps/

The second interview is with Hitam Saafin, the Chair of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC), which was founded in 1980. UPWC’s aim is to empower Palestinian women, while contributing to the Palestinian national struggle against the Israeli occupation. According to its mission statement, UPWC ‘strives to build a civil democratic progressive community free of all forms of discrimination and respects women rights as part of human rights in general’. UPWC goal is to eradicate all forms of inequities including those between Palestinian women and men as well as those within social classes. For more information, visit UPWC’s website: http://www.upwc.org.ps/

To find these interviews, please visit the interviews section of our website for both the audio recordings and full transcriptions of these interviews.