International Delegation of Prominent Feminists (June 2011)

In late June, Mada al-Carmel’s Gender Studies Program hosted a delegation of Indigenous, Transnational and Feminists of Color Delegation to Palestine.  The delegation was organized by Dr. Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi an Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies/Race and Resistance Studies and Senior Scholar of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative (AMED), in the historic College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University and Dr. Barbara Ransby a writer, historian and longtime political activist whose work spans some of the most important contemporary social movements in the United States.

The Delegation included some of the world’s top researchers. They came from the United State to Palestine to show their solidarity, hear from Palestinian women and men about the reality in which they live, and to emphasize the need of the international community to support the Palestinian people’s struggle for undivided justice.

Among the participants were prominent feminist researchers and activists, such as Indian researcher Chandra Talpade Mohanty, a Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Dean’s Professor of the Humanities at Syracuse University. And researcher and activist Barbara Ransby, who initiator or co-founder of several national organizations, including: Ella's Daughters; as well as the Black Radical Congress; and African American Women in Defense of Ourselves. in addition to philosopher, Professor Angela Davis, who authored eight books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. In recent years a persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. She draws upon her own experiences in the early seventies as a person who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.”Ms. Himmat Zu’bi, coordinator of Mada al-Carmel’s Gender Studies Program, opened and moderated the meeting. She welcomed and thanked the delegation for their visit to Palestine and noted its great significance. “We engage in research studies that expose the oppression and the role the state plays as a Zionist, colonialist entity, the oppression of Palestinian women, and the perpetuation of their inferior status. In Mada’s Gender Studies Program, we are constantly seeking to improve and develop ties with female Palestinian researchers in the homeland and with feminist researchers and activists from around the world,” Zu’bi said.

Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, of San Francisco University initiated and organized the delegation and its meeting at Mada al-Carmel: “This delegation came to visit Palestinian from the other United States – not the hegemonic and not the capitalist United States. It is a delegation of eminent researchers and activists who belong to excluded minority groups. The delegation’s members seek justice, and they have come to Palestine to express their solidarity and learn the reality here. At the end of our visit, we will draft a position paper that will include a demand for undivided justice for all Palestinians, and a boycott on Israel.”

Also participating in the meeting were female Palestinian activists and academics from Israel, who spoke about the situation of Palestinian women and the Zionist-colonialist policy’s effect on their lives.

To view the delegation’s statement, “Justice for Palestine: A Call to Action from Indigenous and Women of Color Feminists” click here.