“Women’s empowerment is important for me; this is why I identified myself as a political feminist activist, because women’s situation is as bad. Women in my region suffer from a double type of oppression—social and also political—so I have to consider the gender aspect in my activism.”
Meet Lubna Masarwa.
She is one of hundreds of young Palestinian activists who have worked tirelessly to bring greater world attention to the plight of people living in Gaza. Gaza is the world’s most densely populated piece of land. In recent years, it has become what Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire calls “the world’s largest prison.”
Gaza lives under a tight blockade, which often makes it impossible for food, water, medical supplies and other essentials to reach the population. In marked contrast to the Israeli population, 80 percent of Gaza’s residents live on less than $2.30 per day – and two-thirds of the residents do not have access to a sewage system.
The deep injustice of the situation in Gaza moves Lubna to action. In recent years she has done a great deal of international work to raise awareness of the situation in Gaza. She has also been active in attempting to break the siege in Gaza, and was among the passengers who were attacked on Mavi Marmara ship in May of 2010. Israeli authorities bordered the ship, taking medical and other supplies to Gaza, and killing nine activists and injuring many others.
But Lubna is undeterred, and says that activism is “in [her] blood.” Lubna can also often be found escorting international media to East Jerusalem, where she is part of the fight against house demolitions—the razing of Palestinian homes to create space for Israeli settlers. She is also a staunch advocate for providing education for young Palestinian women against racist and unjust laws.
Lubna is a true visionary. She is actively working to ensure that the future is brighter for the next generation of Palestinian women.
Petition – End the Siege of Gaza: Ceasefire Now
Exclusive interview with Lubna Masarwa, Mavi Marmara survivor, the Only Democracy? 13 Jun 2010.
Tribunal on Palestine finds US, UN complicit in Israel’s violations, Nobel Women’s Initiative, 12 Oct 2012.
Activists broke Gaza blockade—detained by Israeli authorities, Nobel Women’s Initiative, 25 Oct 2012.
Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams on Gaza: “We Can’t Support Punishing an Entire Population”, Democracy Now, 20 Nov 2012.
Israeli-Gaza ceasefire holds, The Guardian, 22 Nov 2012.