Up Against a Wall: Woman Farmers in Jayous

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Paula Green


In 2002, Israel began to build the Separation/Annexation Wall around the West Bank. The structure consists of eight meter-high walls, trenches up to four meters deep, earth, debris, and concrete mounds, double walls, fences with electronic sensors, patrol towers, asphalt two-lane patrol roads, a trace strip to detect footprints and a stack of six barbed-wire coils. (PENGON,2003)

One community that has been affected by this construction is Jayous, which is in the Qalqilya District. The Qalqilya District is one of the most agriculturally productive regions in the West Bank. Approximately three hundred families rely on farming for their livelihoods. The land thatis now behind the Wall produced an estimated nine million kilograms of fruit and seven million kilograms of vegetables annually. This provided 65,000 working days. (UNRWA, 2004)

The Wall has become a permanent fixture in the lives of the people of Jayous. Since this is mainly an agricultural community, the farmers have been hardest hit and the women farmers even more so. The purpose of this research is to study the affects of the Wall on the women farmers of Jayous. The women farmers do not have the choice of choosing a different means for economic gain. Most of the women are either uneducated or illiterate; 65% of rural Palestinian women are illiterate or had primary school education. (PCBS, 2000) Due to cultural constraints, the women cannot work as unskilled labor nor do manual chores for wages. Some farmers in Jayous have had to leave Jayous and head to a neighboring village or city to find work. This in not an option for women for they cannot leave their families unattended. For women, farming was not only a means to bring in extra income, but it was a way to assure the sustenance for their families. This has resulted in economic, psychological, and social problems for the women of Jayous.


Agronomy and Crop Sciences | International and Intercultural Communication | Women's Studies

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