Palestinian mums working in private sector cannot afford to take day off on Women's Day

Palestinian mums working in private sector cannot afford to take day off on Women's Day
2 min read
08 March, 2022
Palestinian authorities give schools a day off to celebrate International Women's Day on March 8, even though some children are not able to spend the holiday with their mothers.
Women in Gaza said that men colleagues should have replaced them at work on Women's Day. [Getty]

Mothers in Gaza vented their anger at Palestinian authorities for celebrating International Women's Day on March 8 by closing schools for one day, while not taking in consideration that private sector's workers would not be able to take time off at work to stay at home with their children.

Hiba Dawas, a doctor from the city of Dir al-Balah, told The New Arab on Monday that "it is not fair to force us to keep our kids at home without having their mothers to take care of them."

"I have managed to juggle my working times and my kids' school hours in order to prepare them food... and have them doing their homework," said the 33-year-old doctor.

"I cannot imagine what would happen to my three children if they stayed alone at home without me," she added.

Dawas also highlighted that "there are many men working in my same field, so I would have preferred to be granted... leave and [to see] one of my colleagues replace me, in order to celebrate this day with my children..."

The situation is not much different for Mariam Essa, an accountant at a private company. She had to send her four kids to their grandmother's house to spend their day off there.

The 40-year old mother told The New Arab that "to be a worker in the private sector, you must give up your rights to take days off on international occasions in order to avoid... deductions on your salary,"

According to a report released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics on Monday, the rate of working women in Palestinian Authority (PA) territories reached 17 percent in 2021.