A Palestinian woman carrying her child waits to leave Gaza through Rafah border crossing after it was opened by Egyptian authorities, in the southern Gaza Strip
A Palestinian woman carrying her child waits to leave Gaza through Rafah border
Photo: Reuters
A Palestinian woman carrying her child waits to leave Gaza through the Rafah border crossing

Gaza law barring women from travel without male consent to be revised, judge says

Palestinian rights groups protest edict dubbed as discriminatory; analyst says original ruling aimed at stemming recent increase in Gaza women seeking work, studies outside coastal enclave

Reuters |
Published: 02.16.21 , 22:53
Gaza's top Islamic judge agreed on Tuesday to revise a recent court ruling that bars women from traveling without permission from a male guardian such as a husband or father.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter

  • The restriction, imposed on Sunday by the Higher Sharia Council in Islamist Hamas-run Gaza, had drawn criticism from rights groups that said it violated Palestinian laws against gender-based discrimination.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    A Palestinian woman carrying her child waits to leave Gaza through Rafah border crossing after it was opened by Egyptian authorities, in the southern Gaza Strip
    A Palestinian woman carrying her child waits to leave Gaza through Rafah border crossing after it was opened by Egyptian authorities, in the southern Gaza Strip
    A Palestinian woman carrying her child waits to leave Gaza through the Rafah border crossing
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Protests also erupted outside the office of the council's Hamas-appointed chairman, Hassan Jojo, who had signed the edict into law.
    Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Jojo said: "We have agreed to redraft this ruling." He did not say if the language banning female travel without a male guardian's approval would be removed.
    Hamas leaders have repeatedly denied any intention to impose Islamic law on the Gaza Strip's 2 million residents.
    The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), a Palestinian rights group with offices in Gaza and the West Bank, said Sunday's ruling "violates women's dignity and rights and places them at an inferior level" in society.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
     Hamas' top leader in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniya (C) waves the Palestinian flag during a rally in Gaza C
     Hamas' top leader in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniya (C) waves the Palestinian flag during a rally in Gaza C
    Hamas' top leader in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniya, waves the Palestinian flag during a rally in Gaza City
    (Photo: AFP)
    ICHR also noted Palestinian laws bar discrimination "on the basis of race, gender, color, religion, political opinion or disability".
    Reham Owda, a Palestinian political analyst and women's rights expert, said the ruling might have aimed at stemming a recent increase in Gaza women seeking work outside the small coastal territory, where employment is 49%.
    "The government in Gaza wanted to limit (travel) and restrict the movement of women who are ambitious from leaving in search of study or jobs, and escape the Israeli blockade," Owda said.
    Israel and Egypt maintain restrictions on the Mediterranean enclave, citing security concerns arising from Hamas rule.
    Talkbacks for this article 0