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Gaza marks International Women’s Day

Marking Women’s Day, Gaza heard the stories of women who had broken the gender stereotypes as part of the “Listen to Your Voice” campaign.

Organised by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor the event saw Salwa Srour explain how she became the first female bus driver in 2005.

“I challenged the community traditions and succeeded to fulfil a dream that many Palestinian women want to achieve,” she said.

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Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor advisor for women’s issues Arroub Soboh spoke about the challenges facing the Palestinian women, stressing that women are able to make “positive change” towards a “better life”.

She also spoke about the general problems facing woman in the region, including strict rules and traditions, as well as unemployment and low wages.

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Ratiba Ahel, Palestinian refugee who fled war-torn Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria to Gaza, said that she “defeated despair and succeeded in her project” to make handcrafts, noting that her products started to find their way into the Palestinian market “however they are very simple”.

Meanwhile, the former female prisoner, who spent time in Israeli jails, Fatima Al-Zeq spoke about her suffering inside Israeli jails, reminding attendants that there remain 56 females held in Israeli jails.

At the same time, hundreds of women in Gaza took to the streets and headed to the UN office in Gaza, calling for the international body to put pressure on the Israeli occupation to stop its violations against Palestinian women.

Note: This page was updated at 12:52 GMT on March 9, 2017 to correct the name of the first female bus driver, Salwa Srour, who was incorrectly cited as Fatimah Soror  in a previous version of this page.

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