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Here is Why the American Palestinian Women’s Association Supports the 2019 Women’s March

posted on: Jan 16, 2019

By: Mai Abdul Rahman/Arab America Contributing Writer

American Palestinian Women’s Association (APWA) is one of the cosponsors of the 2019 Women’s March that will take place on January 19, 2019, just in 3 days.  While well aware of the unfair and fair allegations that have challenged the 2019 Women’s March, we believe that all women share a common history of discrimination and political exclusion that transcends their faith, color, political affinity, and values. Moreover, our decision to endorse this Women’s March and participation in all prior women lead marches does not compromise our strong belief that all forms of bias, discrimination, and phobias are in direct contradiction to our organizational and individual values.

Our decision to co-sponsor the Women’s March stemmed from our strong support for the Unity Principles that was articulated in the 2017 Women’s March and constitutes the foundation of the 2019 “Women’s Agenda” and its policy platform that will shape the women’s movement priorities leading up to 2020.

While well aware of the unfair and fair allegations that plague this and all other women’s movement before, we believe that all women share a common history of discrimination, economic, and political exclusion that transcends individual values. Our Black sisters before us joined and endorsed the suffrage movement that included women who endorsed the segregation of Americans and demanded Black women assemble and march separately. Black women chose to join because of their understanding that protecting the rights of women is important to all women whether they may be Black, White, and all shades in between. Likewise, our decision to endorse the 2019 Women’s March does not dilute our strong belief that all forms of bias, discrimination, and phobias are in direct contradiction to our organizational and individual values.

We have firmly and consistently denounced and rejected all forms and expressions of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny, racism, and bigotry.  In fact, APWA has never failed to stand up against bias within our own Arab American community or lend our support to our American Jewish sisters whether they may belong to Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP): or for those who oppose JVP for denouncing Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise; and for advocating for the end of the Israeli military occupation of Palestine and Israel’s absolute control of the Palestinians, who are an extension of our families and relatives. Simply because, politics aside, we share a common concern and desire to build an American society where all our young live free of bias and fear irrespective of their faith, color, ethnic origin, economic and social status, sexual orientation, housed or homeless, immigrant or native-born, or gender affinity.

To that end, whether you may be a supporter of APWA or not, a female or male– we urge you to join the 2019 Women’s march that will take place on Saturday, January 19, 2019, in Washington, DC, participate in a sister march taking place in cities nationwide or around the world. Together, we can build a national movement that will end violence against women, bring an end to discriminatory state practices and violence, arrest the spread of bias and bigotry; protect and defend our constitutional rights and the First Amendment, reproductive rights, the rights of young children, refugees and immigrants, LGBTQIA+, poor, challenged, and disabled populations, and our environment. All of which will promote economic and social justice for all Americans and give hope to young girls and women in faraway nations who suffer greater injustice.

Dr. Mai Abdul Rahman is the president of American Palestinian Women’s Association, an educational researcher, and author. Her recent book “Teaching Outside the Box: Beyond the Deficit Driven School Reforms” identifies the structural and emotional triggers that make it difficult for educators’ to overcome the social constructs that control the progress of Black students, reproduce inequities, subvert the socio-economic progress of the nation, and threaten the legitimacy of the U.S. public school system. The author’s distinctive approach stimulates the thinking of the entire field of education, and challenges accepted propositions commonly assumed about African American students.