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Palestine

  • By: Sophie Richter-Devroe & Fatima Al-Botmeh
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

In Palestinian culture, motherhood, childbearing, and child rearing play a central role in defining femininity and women's status in society. Additionally, motherhood is endowed with political meaning and considered a national duty for women in the discourses of Palestinian resistance against Israeli occupation. Palestinian society is very young, with 52.2 percent of the population below 18 years of age, and a fertility rate of 4.6 (2007).

The family is the most vital social institution in Palestine. Given high political, economic, and social instability caused by war and Israeli conflict, children and marriage are seen as crucial for financial security. While the husband holds ultimate authority and financial responsibility for the household, the wife is expected to fulfill her reproductive and domestic roles.

Nationalism and Motherhood in Palestine

Motherhood ...

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