Settler colonialism transforms gender regimes: Nida Abu Awwad, ‘Gender and Settler Colonialism in Palestinian Agriculture: Structural Transformations’, Arab Studies Quarterly, 38, 3, 2016, pp. 540-561
Abstract: The gendered nature of the agricultural sector is significantly influenced by the political and socio-economic and cultural structure of any society. The division of labor between males and females within the family farm is seriously affected as a response to economic pressures along with the impact of other restrictions imposed by predetermined gender roles. In the Palestinian context, economic pressures were created mainly by the structural transformation in Palestinian agriculture following the Zionist settler colonization of Palestine, along with other minor factors related to the Palestinian neoliberal economic policies dictated by the international financial institution and Zionist interests. This article argues that the gendered nature of the Palestinian agriculture sector has been transformed and has promoted women’s exploitation as follows: First, restructure of the agricultural employment by the decline of both women’s and men’s employment of the total Palestinian labor force within serious exploitive and fluctuating conditions; second, changes in tasks and division of labor, women’s property rights for agricultural land resources and services provided by the Palestinian Authority; and finally increasing women’s burden by increasing their time allocation for agricultural tasks. The data presented in the article are based on a comprehensive analysis of secondary information on Palestinian agriculture, and primary data collected in 2010 with the help of a few households case studies (life history) from two locations in the central region of the West Bank.
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