Palästina: Amneh Al-Rimawi

Women’s rights is an issue that impacts all society divisions, who have to rise up and protect those rights.

— Amneh Al-Rimawi

Amneh Abdul-Jaber Al-Rimawi was born in 1957 in Beit-Rima, a village near Ramallah. In 1977, she joined the Palestinian Labor Union (PLU) to improve working conditions of men and women through negotiation and mediation. She is working around the clock towards achieving equal rights for Palestinian women, particularly focusing on wage parity, and she managed to establish a center for addressing labor-related issues in Ramallah. She is currently a member of the Labor Union’s national secretariat and she heads the women’s division of the Union.

Amneh Al-Rimawi grew up in a family of twelve children with an independent and strong personality, always defending the rights of her sisters: She still recounts her fight to persuade her father to allow one of her sisters to join the nursing college. In 1983 Amneh was married to an agricultural engineer and member of the Palestinian Labor Union (PLU). While studying, she embarked on voluntary social activities side by side with men, and also became the only female member of "Dababis", a Palestinian drama group. Since 1977, she has been involved in PLU activities, defending Palestinian women's equal access to employment and advocating the improvement of working conditions. In 1978, she was officially elected as a member of the Union in Ramallah, and from 1985 to 1994 she was its Vice-President. Amneh is currently a member of the Labor Union’s national secretariat, heading the women’s division. Over many years, she has been pressurizing for wage parity between men and women and has helped to establish a center for labor studies in Ramallah. From 1985 to 1988, Amneh was placed under house arrest by the Israeli Authorities. Then, she was imprisoned for two years from 1991 to 1993. Despite these adversities, she obtained a diploma in Commerce and Business Administration. She also started a degree at the Beirut Arab University (BAU), but was unable to complete it because the Israeli Authorities prevented her from traveling abroad for fifteen years from 1982 to 1997. However, she was later able to join the International Union Training Center in Turin, Italy, where she was awarded three honorary diplomas in women’s empowerment, management of social security funds and union establishments. Amneh Al-Rimawi has participated in several international conferences and seminars on unionism and gender.

Palestinian Labor Union (PLU)