Ronit Lentin, Palestinian women from Femina Sacra to agents of active resistance, Women's Studies International Forum, 34, 2, 2011
Women's Studies International Forum; 34; 2;
Jawaher Abu-Rahmah, who was killed by tear gas on New Year Day 2001, was among many Palestinian women, in the state of Israel and the occupied territory, who, despite being victims of what I theorise as the Israeli 'racial state', are also active agents of resistance. Nahla Abdo (1994, 2008) historicises Palestinian women's participation in the national struggle from the 1920s to the present, suggesting that their participation, in the first and second Intifadas for example, was not only a vital part of the resistance movement, but also had profound effect on gender relations within Palestinian society. This paper, while theorising the Palestinian woman - citizen of Israel, or occupied subject in the Palestinian territory - as femina sacra, the female version of Agamben's homo sacer, or 'bare life' (1995), and at the same time as an agent of resistance, attempts not to remain within the theoretical, combining theories with examples from the lived experiences of Palestinian women, believing, after Frantz Fanon in antiracism and anticolonialism as firmly rooted in the lived experience of the racialised.
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