VIDEO: ‘Women’s Boat to Gaza’, direct action against the blockade of Gaza
By Laura Arau, Women’s Boat to Gaza, 18 June 2016
The Women’s Boat to Gaza (WBG) is a Freedom Flotilla Coalition initiative. By launching a women’s boat, women from all over the world aim to highlight the undeniable contributions and indomitable spirit of Palestinian women who have been central within the Palestinian struggle in Gaza, the West Bank, inside the Green Line and in the diaspora.
Gaza has been under Israeli blockade for the past decade, during which time Israel has also launched countless attacks against the besieged population, turning their life into a nightmare and a continuous struggle. Through Freedom Flotillas and other naval missions, we have brought international attention to their suffering and their resistance.
The WBG seeks not only to challenge the Israeli blockade, but to also show solidarity and bring a message of hope to the Palestinian people. With the support of women, men, non-governmental organizations, civil society groups and from women’s collectives and events around the world, we will make this happen.
[Kia Ora Gaza will sponsor a prominent New Zealand woman to participate in the Women’s Boats to Gaza flotilla, which is due to sail to the besieged enclave in September. See the side bar for information on how to support this mission. Ed]
Palestinian women, bastion of struggle and dignity
Bastion of struggle and dignity, Palestinian women are an inspiration and an example for us, women and men who dream of a better world.
“Feminism is the radical notion that women are people” (Angela Davis, USA).
Palestinian women are facing a triple oppression: mainly that generated by the Israeli occupation, but also the oppression caused by patriarchy and, in a very relevant way, the oppression generated by the Western look which confines them to their more domestic role, denying them all the public spaces that, nevertheless, they have traditionally occupied. They have been present in all sectors of society: in associations, at work, in political parties, in demonstrations, in the markets…
Given the need for a change in the current patriarchal social model towards a fairer and more equitable model, it becomes necessary to resort to actions which move us away from the androcentric and colonial look which has underrated, hidden and devalued women all through history, by means of stereotypes which have perpetuated inequality between women and men.
With the project ‘Women’s Boat to Gaza’ we intend to make Palestinian women visible as active persons, all through history, in the resistance and struggle against the occupation of Palestine.
Palestinian women promote and protect the cultural heritage of their people. They challenge the curfew, the blockade and the bullets. They organise and render services in education and health in villages and refugee camps. They build houses for orphan boys and girls. They lead the boycott against the Zionist entity. They organise protest marches and demonstrations to demand the release of their relatives and friends from the Israeli prisons. They take to the streets to protest against the brutality of the Israeli military occupation and the blockade. They resist against the occupying forces and refuse to remain silent.
Palestinian women are all those women who sow their fields, all those who defend their land. They are the thousands of women who hold their ground despite oppression. They are the great number of women who dream about the return to Palestine. They are the countless fighters who never rest. They are our partners in the struggle, fighters and a symbol of perseverance. They are the daughters of Palestine.
“Enough for me to die on her earth be buried in her to melt and vanish into her soil then sprout forth as a flower played with by a child from my country. Enough for me to remain in my country’s embrace to be in her close as a handful of dust a sprig of grass a flower” (Fadwa Tuqan, Palestine).
For these and many other reasons we, free women from all over the world will sail to break the blockade on Gaza.
More information: http://www.womensboattogaza.org.
Laura Arau, member of Rumbo a Gaza – Spain