Economic rights of Jerusalemite women…draining reality and grave violations
Jerusalemite women and girls face specific economic challenges that render their ability to participate in the Palestinian economic development process nearly impossible. They also make their simple life a nightmarish series of difficulties, especially in the absence of international monitoring parties and ongoing Israeli occupation violations and attacks. Jerusalemite women live a concerning economic reality that is reflected on all aspects of their lives, drains their potentials and undermines their aspirations.
This paper reflects the most prominent outcomes of a research developed by the “Abad Al Shams” Institute in conjunction with MIFTAH on the economic reality of Palestinian women in Israeli-occupied Jerusalem. The research documented violations and analyzed the impacts of these violations vis-à-vis hindering Jerusalemite women’s contributions to promoting sustainable development for the Palestinian economy on par with other Palestinian women.
Statistics and indicators on the fragile economic condition of women and girls in Jerusalem
Israeli measures distort and destroy the economic reality of women
First: discrimination because of the Palestinian ID
Israel imposes many measures to pressure Jerusalemite women in order to alter their Palestinian identity to meld with Israeli society, including imposing Hebrew, whereby job opportunities and official documents, economic, financial and bank transactions are all in Hebrew.
Discrimination in employment and securing a suitable job: the percentage of Jerusalemite women between the ages of 25 and 64 and who are part of the labor force in Jerusalem is only 22%, while high quality jobs are confined to West Jerusalem institutions. Jerusalemites suffer from racial discrimination within Israeli institutions and companies.
Second: Economic burdens linked to housing, the racist, annexation wall and the siege imposed on the city
Israeli taxes adversely and clearly affect housing and women’s ability to secure housing. The average price of a 100 square-meter apartment in occupied East Jerusalem ranges between $400,000 and $800,000, while rent for a flat of the same size costs around $800 to $1500 or more.
Women lost a large part of their properties, lands and natural wealth to Israeli confiscation when it occupied around 26,300 dunams of land for Israeli settlement construction. Hence, they lost their natural right to transfer this wealth or benefit from it.
Third: Women entrepreneurs…shocking challenges
Women entrepreneurs in the city suffer from several challenges including: lack of expertise, the absence of the necessary competitive skills, the absence of specialization according to development needs, the lack of appropriate capital for the development and management of projects and marketing and the incessant tracking of occupation authorities.
Mrs. Ola Boujih says: I suffered from cancer for over 16 years and the painkillers kept me from my family. I saw it crumbling in front of me…so I decided to pull myself together and start my project. I created “Istabrak” but Israeli occupation authorities confiscated my merchandise four times during raids on exhibits in which I was participating.
Even though the Israeli National Insurance categorized me as disabled, the Israeli municipality froze my assets, citing high property tax (Arnona) dues. In the winter, my house leaks and there is always the danger of an electrical short circuit. My family has debts of over ILS200,000 and I hoped that my project would improve our economic conditions but Israeli measures have made that impossible.
Outcomes of the study:
The factsheet focused on a study sample of low-income individuals within poverty line perimeters in Israel (ILS2,811 per/individual and ILS10,542 per a two- parent, three children household). The percentage of women who hail from rural areas of the city was 23.2%, of which 71.4% were subjected to violations of their rights as rural women and girls.
Economic rights and international treaties
International treaties guaranteed the economic rights of Jerusalemite women as basic rights, confirming the right of self-determination for peoples. By virtue of this right, people are free to seek achievement of their economic growth and to freely utilize their wealth and natural resources. Under no circumstance should any people be deprived of their specific reasons for life.
The question remains: is Israel committed to promoting the economic reality of Jerusalemite women in accordance with international agreements?
To view the Full Factsheet as PDF
The content of this document does not reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in the study lies entirely with MIFTAH