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The Hidden Stars of Palestine: How Disabled Women are Obscured from Middle Eastern Culture

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Tampa

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Lindy Davidson

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The disparity between disabled men and women in the Middle East has become increasingly prevalent. The religious and cultural practices of this region influence the classification of disability. Governmental and cultural frameworks work to enable discrimination towards women with disabilities. This study examines how the Stars of Palestine organization contributes to providing assistance to women with disabilities. We have conducted a literature review of current studies, documentaries, and texts that pertain to disability in the Middle East, with a focus on the Gaza Strip and West Bank Region. While Palestinian law forbids discrimination based on disability, it is unclear how much this pertains to women and their role in society. For the purpose of this review, disability will be examined through the lens of gender and culture. We investigated the extent to which Stars of Palestine succeeds in empowering and promoting the visibility and inclusion of disabled people. Findings suggest that women with disabilities in Palestine are not accounted for in their governments' emergency plans and aid packages. These women experience loss of bodily autonomy through marriage and the cultural prevention of religious freedom. Through a lack of support from their country and their culture, women are subject to a limited social status and feelings of insufficiency. Prominent gender inequalities and the evident lack of aid for disabled women in these regions supports the notion that further action should be taken to ensure equity for the women of this region.

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The Hidden Stars of Palestine: How Disabled Women are Obscured from Middle Eastern Culture

The disparity between disabled men and women in the Middle East has become increasingly prevalent. The religious and cultural practices of this region influence the classification of disability. Governmental and cultural frameworks work to enable discrimination towards women with disabilities. This study examines how the Stars of Palestine organization contributes to providing assistance to women with disabilities. We have conducted a literature review of current studies, documentaries, and texts that pertain to disability in the Middle East, with a focus on the Gaza Strip and West Bank Region. While Palestinian law forbids discrimination based on disability, it is unclear how much this pertains to women and their role in society. For the purpose of this review, disability will be examined through the lens of gender and culture. We investigated the extent to which Stars of Palestine succeeds in empowering and promoting the visibility and inclusion of disabled people. Findings suggest that women with disabilities in Palestine are not accounted for in their governments' emergency plans and aid packages. These women experience loss of bodily autonomy through marriage and the cultural prevention of religious freedom. Through a lack of support from their country and their culture, women are subject to a limited social status and feelings of insufficiency. Prominent gender inequalities and the evident lack of aid for disabled women in these regions supports the notion that further action should be taken to ensure equity for the women of this region.