The Right to Adequate Housing – Palestinian-Single Mothers in Israel
In this paper I will focus on the issue of housing in relation to Palestinian-Israeli single-mothers, and I will conduct a gender analysis of their available housing options and their realization of the right to adequate housing. A critical analysis from the perspective of Gender-Mainstreaming on the right to adequate housing, as manifested in the case of these women, creates a prism for examining additional spheres of life that relate to them and their children.
The paper is based on qualitative research I conducted among Palestinian-Israeli single-mothers, divorced/separated and widows, which dealt with their situation and their experiences, and examined their status in their families and communities. The data was collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews, and was analyzed out of a commitment to the principles of feminist research. The issue of housing turned out to be a central theme in many interviews.
Since the policy used in Israel over the years has led to discrimination against minority groups. In this paper I will present a link to international human-rights discourse that might be used as an effective tool of political action against such discrimination.
Findings show a lack of governmental solutions, the women are forced into oppressive familial arrangements while struggling to obtain autonomous space for themselves and their children. Their transparency and the deep hardship they face in all matters pertaining to housing, may – in extreme cases – be manifested in a threat to their lives.