Author Identifiers

Elke Taylor
ORCID: 0000-0001-7140-1459

Date of Award

2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours (Politics and International Relations)

School

School of Arts and Humanities

First Advisor

Dr Kay Hearn

Abstract

Palestinian women have contributed a rich and diverse history of political participation amidst the complex and anarchic political landscape of Palestine. The informal contributions of Palestinian women have played an integral and significant role in democratisation, peace-building efforts and the progression of women's rights. Despite forging and maintaining an active political presence, the political roles of women have been largely informal, localised and heavily contested. The recent establishment of female election quotas have greatly progressed the formalisation of women's political roles, brought about an increase in political participation and the representation of women in political institutions. In spite of these significant gains, Palestinian women remain markedly underrepresented in local and legislative political institutions and remain largely excluded from political processes. This thesis traces the impact of the Palestinian local female election quota system on the political role of women in the West Bank. Utilising a case study methodology to investigate the Palestinian local elections of 2004-2005, this thesis examines the correlation between the quota system and the evolvement of women's political roles. The theoretical perspective of Islamic feminism frames this research, ultimately drawing a relationship between the Palestinian Islamic feminism movement and the development and outcomes of the quota system. I argue that despite the significant increase in female political representation in local councils following the legislation of the quota system, the capacity for women to fully participate politically is ultimately limited by enduring patriarchy, political instability and increasing occupation.

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