Special Series: Role of Women in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict - 2007
by Jihad Abu Zneid
In this first article of a five-part series on the role of women in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Jihad Abu Zneid talks about her own experience growing up as a refugee in Jerusalem. She says that her difficult upbringing and challenges she face were major motivators for getting involved in gender equality and human rights issues. She calls on women of both sides of the conflict to rise up from adversity and unite in their struggle for peace and equality.
(Source: Common Ground News Service (CGNews), 17 May 2007) 
by Gila Svirsky
In the second article in the five-part series on the role of women in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Gila Svirsky talks about the different meanings of "security", and the campaign by the women's peace movement in Israel "to 'reframe security' -- to broaden our conception of it. We seek to demonstrate to Israelis that security is not the end-result of having a strong, aggressive army, but rather the product of a broad range of activity, which includes living in a society that cares for its poor, reduces violence, protects its natural resources and co-exists in peace with its neighbours."
(Source: Common Ground News Service (CGNews), 17 May 2007) 
by Anna Balzer
"It is the collaborative efforts by women in Palestine, women in Israel and women from both communities working together that gives me most hope for a future of peaceful coexistence in Israel/Palestine," writes Anna Balzer. "In spite of the obstacles, whether living under oppressive patriarchal or occupation policies or in an increasingly militarised society, Palestinian and Israeli women … have remained resilient in their nonviolent approaches towards resisting injustice and struggling for equal rights for all people in the region: men and women, Jews and Palestinians."
(Source: Common Ground News Service (CGNews), 24 May 2007) 
by Patricia Smith Melton
Patricia Smith Melton, founder and chair of Peace X Peace, writes the fourth in the Common Ground News Service's series on the role of women in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. "In the region we can only know what we witness first hand, and even that goes through personal filters," she writes. "My own witnessing has been with Palestinian and Israeli female activists, on both sides of the wall. Over the past three years I have also witnessed, and put through my filters, several trends: subtle but significant changes in language, emerging concepts, and fluctuations in the hope quotient."
(Source: The Common Ground News Service (CGNews), 31 May 2007) 
by Deborah Weissman
In the fifth and final article in the CGNews series on the role of women in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Deborah Weissman writes about the connection between women's empowerment and peace, and the influence religion can play on both. "Our goal … should not be the eradication of group identities but their empowerment through ensuring the safety and security of the different groups. And in this important task, dialogue among women can help develop a grassroots climate conducive to peace."
(Source: The Common Ground News Service (CGNews), 31 May 2007) 
Women of Tunisia: Let your voices be heard!

The women of Tunisia have a decisive role to play in shaping Tunisia's future. Fatma Ben Saïdane reminds women of the power of their vote and the importance of civic engagement.
"I have received six questions from several individuals working for the Common Ground News Service. I hope that students and specialists in our university (Al Azhar), as well as those concerned with general intellectual matters, will take note of the effort behind these questions, how they came to be issued only after extensive information - gathering and study that could fill shelves, and after the kind of organized thought that draws connections between various facts and which does not busy itself with the illusions, trifles, and pettiness that upend the edifice of knowledge."

- Sheikh Ali Gomaa, Grand Mufti of Egypt

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