Environmental Challenges in Palestine-Gender perspectives

General Background

Women’s empowerment and gender equality are obviously linked with the fight for a sustainable and healthy environmental system. In dealing with the ongoing environmental challenges facing women, requires both personal conviction and collective commitment towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those related to a clean, healthy environment for our communities to ensure the preservation of vital natural resources. Thus, it is crucial to develop a gender-based perspective on the environmental challenges, underpinned by grassroots activism and pressure from different interest groups (citizens, NGO’s, etc...) on legislative bodies to make necessary amendment, particularly at this time of the dramatic climate and environmental changes that are taking place in the world.

In this regard, Palestine has signed its commitment to a number of international conventions, most notably the Rotterdam Convention, a multilateral treaty to promote shared responsibilities in relation to importation of hazardous chemicals. This is in addition to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, and Palestine participated and signed “Paris Global Summit” agreement on Climate changes.

Women throughout history and all over the world have played a crucial role in the struggle for environmental protection. In 1906, a woman-led movement in Nepal went so far as to get themselves bound to trees to prevent them from being cut down for commercial purposes. This movement continued to evolve over the course of decades, raising public awareness of environmental issues, thus avoiding further environmental damage. Another example of a women-led environmentalist movements in the Global South is the Green Belt Movement, led by a Kenyan woman named Wangari Maathai, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her environmental activism.


Objectives of the Study:

  • Examine the gender dimension in the environmental changes that are taking place, particularly to highlight the right of Palestinian omen to food safety and security, high quality water, fertile soil, and the appropriate ways to dispose wastes, as prerequisites for achieving sustainable development.
  • Determine and analyze the major risks that Palestinian women face, particularly those resulting from the occupation’s authority’s policies and practices in regards to the environment.
  • Derive issues and topics through which we can generate a policy-paper on certain environmental aspects, with a special focus on the gender perspective.
  • Extract recommendations that shed light on the environmental demands, priorities, and approaches from gender perspectives.
  • Formulate a scientific paper to be used as a tool for advocacy and campaigns to support Palestinian women’s causes and the use of environmental resources.


Importance of the Study:

This unique study will have short- and long-term understandings and hence policy formulations, pertaining climate and hence environmental changes, with focus on the gender aspects:

  • The unique status of Palestinian women as they are constantly facing environmental threats and risks due to settlement building and the overall policies of the settler colonial system, endangering their food security and safety and depletion of resources along with the overall environment, therefore, compromising any prospect for potential sustainable development in the field.
  • The study will contribute to bridge the gap within the Palestinian and the Arab academic and research fields, in examining the environmental issue from a gender-based point of view, and its relevance to achieving sustainable development.
  • Focusing on collective awareness regarding the environmental question from gender perspective, while identifying the knowledge sources used to answer the question.


There is an attachment