The Gender Studies Program (GSP) at Mada al-Carmel hosted a lecture by Prof. Nahla Abdo titled "Palestinian Women and Israeli Political Economy". The lecture was held on April 30, 2009 as part of a series of seminars on gender studies within the GSP, which aims to contribute in creating and developing spaces for feminist dialogue in Palestinian society in Israel.
Prof. Abdo was introduced by Dr. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, the Director of the GSP at Mada al-Carmel, who pointed out the relationship between the subject of the lecture and the new research project started by the GSP under the title "Security Reasoning: Spatial Politics, Patriarchy and the Economic Rights of Palestinian Women in Israel.
Prof. Nahla Abdo opened her lecture by stating that Palestinian women "have played and still continue to play an important role in the economic, political, social and cultural structure of their society. Women have a firm and special relationship with the land, through a history of material, cultural and metaphorical bondage. For women, land has never been merely source of livelihood; Abdo noted that in fact a strong relationship between culture, poetry, land and women is referenced in many writings.
In an attempt to bridge the epistemic gap concerning the position of Palestinian women, Prof. Abdo’s lecture focused on Palestinian women's status in the Israeli political economy with few concepts: land as an economic right; women and citizenship; the Jewish state as a racist, imperialist, colonial state; women's labor and ethnic markets that rely on distancing and marginalization; the feminization of poverty; and culture, religion and the family. She posed the question: are these reasons for marginalization or simply excuses?