Agence France-Presse has recently posted a info-graphic on discrimination against women.
The info-graphic caption: In 15 countries, women can’t get a job without their husband’s permission.
Wow- how horrible is it that a woman must get her husband’s permission to work! Included in the 15 countries is West Bank and Gaza (which AFP refuses to acknowledge as Palestine). As a married woman in Gaza I have never heard of such a law and was taken aback when I looked at the post by AFP. Could it be true?
Here is the false accusation:click here for link to direct page.:
I quickly made a few phone calls to legal experts here and was given this startling answer: NO SUCH LAW EXISTS.
Could AFP really have posted such a blatant lie? Not content with the answers I was given by the experts I decided to do a little research myself. The following is what I learned:
An excerpt from the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Labor Section 7 on women’s rights in the workplace gives no hint of such a requirement. In fact in is pretty much the opposite!
Take a closer look at the actual law from the Palestinian Labor Ministry
General Provisions and Principles
Work is a right for every citizen who is able to do so.
The Palestinian Authority
works toward providing it on the basis of equal opportunities and without any kind
Interesting: it says every citizen has the right to work. No mention of married women needing permission from husbands.
Both Articles 9 and 25 of the Palestine Basic Law affirms equality for everyone.
Could AFP really have gotten it so wrong? A little more research brought me to the UN page.
In September of 2011 the United Nations Development Programme released a study on women’s rights in Palestine entitled A Review of Palestinian Legislation from a Women’s Rights Perspective.
Nowhere in the 37 pages is reference to the ‘law’ Agence France-Presse and John Saeki claims to exist. I find it odd that a full report on women’s rights and legislation would fail to confront this so-called law. A full section on labor laws for women including general recommendations by the UNDP doesn’t even HINT at the supposed discrimination suggested by AFP and John Saeki. Here are the recommendations:
Am I saying the treatment of women here are 100% equal to that of men? Absolutely not! Find me a country where it is though. I have lived and worked in the US and have experienced gender based discrimination personally.
I find it offensive AFP and John Saeki make false claims against Palestine and urge them to look into the matter and offer a retraction and apology. One can only wonder as to what their true motive really was.
A big thank you to @Yasmeena_Hedaya and @leomonte63 who brought this info-graphic to my attention!