The Invisible (Female) Palestinians

In a move that has outraged Palestinian women and various Palestinian factions, a number of Palestinian lists contesting the upcoming local elections, scheduled to take place on October 8, have decided to omit the names and photos of female candidates.

Instead of referring to the female candidates by name and publishing their pictures, the electoral lists are using the terms “the wife of” or “sister.”

Critics have denounced the move as a “sign of retardation, extremism and bigotry.” Other Palestinians have gone so far as comparing the removal of the female candidates’ names and photos from the lists to the cruel pre-Islamic practice of infanticide (wa’d).

The decision to conceal the names and photos of female candidates is seen in the context of the increased “Islamization” of Palestinian society, which is already considered highly conservative.

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