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last updated Dec. 26, 2009 2:58 PM (EST+7)
Zahira Kamal
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Palestinian politics
Zahira Kamal was minister of women’s affairs from the formation of the emergency government in October 2003, until the Hamas-led government was formed in March 2006.

News on Zahira Kamal
Source: Hamas man's Syria death accident not murderJuly 7, 2012


Kamal was born in 1945. She trained as a physics teacher, after obtaining a physics degree from Cairo University and a diploma in education from the University of Jordan. She emerged as a leading activist at UNRWA’s teacher training center for women in Ramallah, where she was working. In November 1995 she was appointed head of the Palestinian Authority’s gender planning and development directorate, within the ministry of planning and international development.

In 1978 she founded and headed the women’s work committee, affiliated with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) which became the Union of Palestinian Women’s Action Committees in 1989. She was held in administrative detention for six months in 1979 and then placed under town arrest in Jerusalem from June 1980 to March 1986. Kamal joined the Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA) when the DFLP split and became a member of its executive committee.

She participated in the first all-women meetings with leading Israeli female politicians in the May 1989 Brussels Conference and joined Walid Abed Rabbo as a member of the Madrid Delegation in 1991. From 1992 she headed the technical committee on women’s Affairs, dealing with interim negotiations.
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