Between Hardships and Respect: A Collective Biography of Arab Women Teachers in British-ruled Palestine

in Hawwa
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Abstract

This article examines the lives of Arab women who worked as teachers in government schools in Palestine between 1920 and 1948. Through a prosopographic study of over 200 employment files of these women, I highlight certain variables as well as shared experiences. My findings show that Arab women teachers were a diverse group, hailing from all over Palestine, and from different religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. Teaching was considered a respectable job, as it did not require women to have contact with men, and it provided them with a significant income, which many teachers used to support family members or purchase property. Nonetheless, many women faced difficulties, and had to negotiate working in unfamiliar places, where they posed challenges to gender norms or had to succumb to social demands to marry.

Between Hardships and Respect: A Collective Biography of Arab Women Teachers in British-ruled Palestine

in Hawwa

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