Gisha petitions HCJ to allow five women from Gaza to reach their studies in gender, democracy and law

Gisha petitioned the High Court of Justice on Monday, January 16, 2012, to allow five women from the Gaza Strip to complete their master’s degrees in gender, democracy and law. Four of the women were forced to discontinue their studies in 2000, after Israel revoked travel permits given to students from the Gaza Strip who were studying in the West Bank. The four petitioners are residents of the Gaza Strip and most are in their 40s. They hold various positions in civil society organizations promoting women’s rights in Gaza. One of the petitioners is Amal Abu Aisha, 42, director of the Women’s Affairs Center, which conducts research, provides training and empowers women and advances their status through work with institutions and organizations. The center also engages in advocacy on women’s issues. Suhair Sakka, 37, is the women’s projects manager with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. She promotes women’s roles in agriculture by conducting training and empowerment seminars and supporting women’s small businesses. The fifth petitioner is Lougin Zaeem, 18, who wishes to follow in the footsteps of her mother in pursuit of a degree in law from Birzeit University. She was accepted to the university and hopes to join her father's law firm in Gaza upon completion of her degree.
• Gender students – a threat to Israel’s national security
For the past ten years, Israel has prevented Gaza students from pursuing studies in the West Bank on the claim that students comprise a "risk group". According to security officials, “permitting their exit from the Gaza Strip will quite probably turn them into tools at the hands of terrorist organizations for committing murderous actions against the citizens of Israel”. In view of this blanket ban, one can't help but wonder: In what way do five women studying gender and democracy threaten Israel’s security?
Adv. Nomi Heger, Gisha: “These are women who have already been working for many years to advance the status of women in Gaza. Their studies can only help them to further contribute to the building of a healthy and prosperous society in the Gaza Strip – an interest shared by both Israel and the Palestinians”.
For more information on the ban on student travel between Gaza and the West Bank and Gisha's work on this issue, click here.
For a recent post on the subject on Gisha's blog, Gaza Gateway, click here.
For further details: Ayelet Cohen, Spokesperson, +972-54-8172104,