Home / Resources / Online Resources / ...
Pray for Peace

Palate for Peace: Palestinian Women

By Glory E. Dharmaraj

A sip of honey may be just a wisp of a thing but it can be a thing that makes for peace on the West Bank. Beehives, in particular, become a tool of resistance in Palestine to Israeli occupation. United Methodist Women has consistently funded The Women’s Empowerment Project by our partner, Grassroots International, coordinated by the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC).

Palestinian women make up almost 50% of Palestinian population (1.03 men/woman). Palestinian women make up 53.1% of secondary and 54.4% of tertiary education. But female employment does not correlate with the educational achievements of women. Especially on the West Bank, unemployment is high among women. Unemployment in the West Bank stood at 17.8% in 2009 with 17.6% for males and 18.8% for females. Unemployment among women in the West Bank is particularly high. In Bethlehem it is 19.5%; Jenin 19%, Hebron 18.9% and Ramallah 16.3%.(1) The rate of domestic violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is higher, as estimated by the U.N. (2012).

A sip of honey may be just a wisp of a thing but it can be a thing that makes for peace on the West Bank. Beehives, in particular, become a tool of resistance in Palestine to Israeli occupation. United Methodist Women has consistently funded The Women's Empowerment Project by our partner, Grassroots International (www.grassrootsonline.org), coordinated by the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC). Through the Women's Empowerment Project, UAWC provides opportunities to agricultural farmers and helps low income Palestinian women develop small scale enterprises. Women's beekeeping project is one such means to generate income by the local women just outside Ramallah on the West Bank.

Beekeeper Salwa Hasan is one of the women who knows how to hold on to the land tenaciously through bees and honey. Placing beehives in strategic areas in the occupied land, the women beekeepers prove that the land continues to be productive and in use, for if the Israeli government can show that the land has not been productive and lies vacant, the land can be confiscated. Salwa Hasan says, "We are developing ourselves and challenging the occupation."

This iteration of peace is disarming. The grassroots, as well as grass-tops leaders who relate to the grassroots, such as UAWC on the West Bank, Women in Black in Israel, Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Latin America, MomsRising.org in the U.S. and others worldwide show us, through their mission from the margins, how good peace is to the palate. It is time to taste and see how good peace is to the palate.

Prayer for palate for peace

One: How good it is to have a palate for peace. Make us savor peace, O Taster Divine.

Many: God of life, lead us to justice and peace.

One: How good it is to grow food, grow trees, and grow peace. Help us to seed peace, O Peace Divine.

Many: God of life, lead us to justice and peace.

One: How good it is to taste food, hug trees, and wave olive branches. Help us to nurture peace, O Prince of Peace.

Many: God of life, lead us to justice and peace.

One: God of life, strengthen our wills to invest in things that make peace. Help us to wage peace, O giver of peace that passes all human understanding.

Many: God of life, lead us to justice and peace.

One: Help us to harvest peace in our personal and communal lives, O Holy Spirit who breaks down the walls of hostility and hatred.

Many: God of life, lead us to justice and peace.

(1) From OXFAM- Québec. “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the West Bank, Palestine.”


Glory E. Dharmaraj, Ph.D. is the executive for spiritual growth, United Methodist Women

Last Updated: 04/03/2014
 
 

© 2014 United Methodist Women