By Aya Al Assar
Palestinian women are marginalized in all areas of life– politically, socially, economically and culturally. Palestinian female journalists are no exception to this reality.
Palestinian society believes that the best place for a woman is in the home, her main job, that of wife and mother. Of course this belief ignores a woman’s power and ability–it denies using them.
Women in Palestine are particularly vulnerable to violence. Early marriage often shortens their educational path. Women who do achieve higher education often face limited employment opportunities in the media field and lower wages than their male counterparts.
Political and cultural restrictions narrow the movement of female journalists and sometimes the types of stories they cover.
Female journalists are exposed to harassment from male colleagues, who often underestimate their ability or even steal their work. On the other hand, they often must struggle against conservative family members for freedom to travel and deal with public issues. If a female journalist is married, she needs to double her efforts, compensating her husband and children for the time she spends working.
As a Palestinian journalist myself, I need to be free to work and move. I need equality between men and women. I think it is time for Palestinian society to understand and appreciate the importance of female journalists.
*How can the UN better support female journalists?