Palestinian women speaking out in Hastings!

Thanks to Fadwa and Rudayna for their fascinating talk on how the illegal Separation Wall negatively affects women's lives in many different ways, from denying them their health and reproductive rights to their right to a family life. The village of Abu Dis, where Fadwa and Rudayna live, was once part of Jerusalem but is now cut off from the city by the Wall and the lives of all Palestinians, within and without, are governed by colour-coded IDs.

In 2016 Rudayna suffered a health crisis but was forced to wait over 24 hours for a permit to visit a hospital on the other side of the Wall - once, a five minute walk from her home - and the delay meant doctors had no choice but to remove her womb in order to save her life. Now, thanks to that day-long wait for a permit to go to hospital, she will never be able to have children. This is just one of many examples of how the Wall and system of identification represses Palestinian women and denies them their basic human rights.

Today, the Wall snakes through and encircles whole Palestinian towns, villages and lands, dismantling families, preventing young people from enjoying relationships with those on the other side of the Wall, or even marrying, and restricting access to vital medical services.

Meanwhile, a plethora of complex legislative measures works to displace Palestinians in Jerusalem by revoking their residency rights and making ordinary life impossible . As Manar, a Jerusamelite mother-of-five put it: 'The wall is a racial tool and restricts our freedom of movement, making us susceptible to ridicule, humiliation and degradation.'