Where Have All the Women (and Men) Gone? Reflections on Gender and the Second Palestinian Intifada

  • Citation: Johnson, Penny, and Eileen Kuttab. “Where Have All the Women (and Men) Gone? Reflections on Gender and the Second Palestinian Intifada.” Feminist Review 69, no. 1 (2001): 21–43.
    • Topics:
    • Country and Regional Studies
    • Keywords:
    • nationalism
    • national liberation
    • military occupation
    • masculinity

The authors ground their reflections on gender and the complex realities of the second Palestinian intifada against Israeli occupation in the political processes unleashed by the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian rule, noting that the profound inequalities between Israel and Palestine during the interim period produced inequalities among Palestinians. The apartheid logic of the Oslo period – made explicit in Israel’s policies of separation, seige and confinement of the Palestinian population during the intifada and before it – is shown to shape the forms, sites and levels of resistance which are highly restricted by gender and age. In addition, the authors argue that the Palestinian Authority and leadership have solved the contradictions and crisis of Palestinian nationalism in this period through a form of rule that the authors term ‘authoritarian populism’, that tends to disallow democractic politics and participation. The seeming absence of women and civil society from the highly unequal and violent confrontations is contrasted with the first Palestinian intifada (1987-91), that occurred in a context of more than a decade of democratic activism and the growth of mass-based organizations, including the Palestinian women’s movement. The authors explore three linked crises in gender roles emerging from the conditions of the second intifada: a crisis in masculinity, a crisis in paternity and a crisis in maternity.

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