“Funding Pain: Bedouin Women and Political Economy in the Naqab/Negev”

Mada’s Gender Studies Program director Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian co-authored an article entitled “Funding Pain: Bedouin Women and Political Economy in the Naqab/Negev” with Himmat Zu’bi, Antonina Griecci and Rachel Busbridge. The article was published in Routledge’s Feminist Economics Journal (Volume 20: Issue 4).

This article explores how the economy of international funding for local nongovernmental organizations impacts Palestinian activism and resistance inside the state of Israel. In particular, the authors examine Orientalist assumptions held by donors regarding Bedouin women who live in unrecognized villages in the Naqab desert. Lacking historical and political awareness of Israeli settler colonialism and Palestinian dispossession, funding agencies instead view individual problems and cultural deficiencies as at the root of Bedouin women’s struggles. By bringing Bedouin women’s voices to the forefront of their analysis, the authors challenge the political economy of state violence against these women’s communities and consider how donors’ perceptions of Bedouin culture and gender roles can reinforce the state’s oppressive structures.

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