Palästina: Zahira Kamal

It is not strange that historical events of Palestine were the driving force that has determined my life. I grew up hating the Israelis without even knowing or meeting them.

— Zahira Kamal

Zahira Kamal, born in 1945, is a leading Palestinian activist who has worked towards the welfare of Palestinian woman. She obtained a BSc in Physics from Ain Shams University, Cairo, in 1968. She also received a Diploma in Teaching Methodology from the University of Jordan in 1978. She has taught physics and science for many years at the Women’s Teacher Training Center in Ramallah. Currently, she is the Palestinian Authority Minister for Women's Affairs.

Zahira Kamal has played a large part in the modernization of Palestinian society. She strongly believes in the empowerment of Palestinian women through education, and held the post of Director General of the Directorate of the Gender Planning and International Cooperation at the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) from 1995 until 2004. In this capacity, she formed an inter-ministerial coordination committee for the advancement of woman. Zahira is the founder of Palestinian Women's Action, the first grassroots organization dealing with women’s empowerment issues, which she chaired from 1978-1991. She is affiliated with many women’s NGO's in Palestine, including the Woman's Study Center for Legal and Social Consultation and the Jerusalem Center for Women. Zahira Kamal has worked as a spokeswoman for the Palestinian Federation of Women's Action (PFWA) in many countries, including Russia and the USA, exposing the Palestinian issue in several conferences. She was a member of the Palestinian Advisory Council to the Middle East Peace Conference in Madrid, Washington and Moscow. Zahira has actively participated in meetings with Israeli peace promotion groups and she is a member of both the Israeli and Palestinian Networking and the Jerusalem Link – two cooperating women centers in East and West Jerusalem. She has written extensively on a number of key issues including women's empowerment, occupation, women’s political participation, the peace process and women under administrative detention.

Palestinian Ministry of Women’s Affairs (PMWA) Women's Study Center for Legal and Social Consultation (WSCLSC) Palestinian Democratic Union (PDU)