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Women shut out from Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal

Women were absent from the Palestinian reconciliation meetings, which shows the lack of female participation in the affairs of the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian women walk near a mosque in a street in the Gaza Strip March 13, 2014.  REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY RELIGION) - RTR3GYYE
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The reconciliation scene in Gaza City and the declaration of an agreement between Fatah and Hamas in April was devoid of women. There were no women invited, from Islamic, secular or leftist parties, to the dialogue table. It was as if such a process were the preserve of men.

Activist Yafa Abu Aker, 23, did whatever she could to enter the first session of the new dialogue, which was held on April 22 at the house of former Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh — to no avail. The security men did not believe her when she said, “I sent a letter to the Reconciliation Commission and President Mahmoud Abbas, and they allowed me to participate in the meetings.”

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