Palestinian Working Women's Society for Development (PWWSD)


Country/TerritoryPalestinian Authority
In their own words"A nongovernmental organization working in Occupied Palestine, aiming for gender equality and the eradication of all forms of discrimination against women.  Through empowering and mobilizing women’s participation in the struggle against the Israeli occupation, the contribution to the development processes, the promotion of woman’s political, economic and civic rights and the expansion of women’s access to justice through improving psychological well-being among women and girls, and combating gender-based violence.”


  • Does not list donors or financial information, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability.
  • In 2016-2018, the Palestinian Working Women’s Society for Development (PWWSD), alongside the Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center [Association] in Palestine (DWRC) and Cooperazione per lo Sviluppo dei Paesi Emergenti (COSPE), received €583,986 from the European Union for “Enhancing Rights and Freedoms of Palestinian Workers.”
  • In 20182019, PWWSD received €87,850 from the Netherlands.
  • In 2018, PWWSD received SEK 361,276 from Kvinna till Kvinna (Sweden).


  • Founded in 1981 as the Union of Palestinian Working Women Committees. “In 2001 the organization was officially registered with the Palestinian Ministry of Interior under the name ‘Palestinian Working Women’s Society for Development.’”
  • Seeks to “contribute towards building a democratic Palestinian society based on (gender) equality, social justice, and respect for human rights.”

Political Advocacy

  • Utilizes highly biased and distorted rhetoric, accusing Israel of “apartheid policies,” “Judaization” of Jerusalem, and “constant violations of Human Rights.”
  • In October 2021, PWWSD signed a joint statement condemning the decision by the Israeli Ministry to designate six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations. According to the statement, “This illegitimate decision comes in the context of the continuation of the occupation and apartheid state’s attacks on the rights of the Palestinian people,” and called to “take tangible measures…to monitor the ongoing violations and crimes of the occupation and provide support to the Palestinian people in their heroic and continuous struggle, for more than seven decades, towards the liberation of Palestine from the apartheid regime and Israeli settler colonialism.”
  • In July 2021, PWWSD was a signatory on a letter to the World Health Organization calling for the release of Shatha Odeh, claiming she is a “well-respected civil society leader both locally and internationally.” Odeh, General Director of the Health Work Committee (HWC), was arrested in July 2021 for her alleged involvement in terror activity. In May 2022, Odeh accepted a plea bargain, pleading guilty to crimes including holding a position in a banned organization, presence in the proceedings of a banned organization, and improperly transferring funds for her role in raising funds for the organization after it was declared a terrorist entity by the IDF in January 2020.
  • In May 2021, PWWSD was a signatory on a joint statement to “express[ing] solidarity with the Palestinian people against Israel’s racist and apartheid policies.”
  • In April 2021, PWWSD signed a joint statement welcoming the decision of the International Criminal Court to launch a formal investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the “State of Palestine.” According to the statement, “This is a long-awaited and a critically important step towards ensuring the rule of law and ending impunity, while ensuring accountability for Israel’s crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.”
  • In January 2021, PWWSD, alongside a number of Palestinian organizations, issued a declaration that the “Vaccine Roll-Out Exposes Israel’s Inhumane Acts of Apartheid.” The NGOs falsely claim that Israel has “legal obligations” to “ensure that quality vaccines be provided to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and control,” while altogether ignoring that Palestinians residing in Jerusalem are part of the Israeli health care system; that under the Oslo Accords the PA is responsible for health care of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza; and that the PA has adopted its own vaccine policy for its population.
  • In November 2019, PWWSD endorsed “World Without Walls,” a campaign started in 2017 that has drawn comparisons between “Israel’s apartheid wall on Palestinian land to the US wall of Shame on indigenous land at the border with Mexico.”
  • In September 2018, PWWSD led a “a to meet with several UN bodies to “denounce the escalation of violence and the growing of the apartheid system in Palestine” and for “concrete actions to end the culture of impunity and hold Israeli accountable for its violations and crimes.”
  • PWWSD’s Facebook cover photo is of a Palestinian flag and a sign calling to “Boycott Israel” (accessed April 19, 2015).
  • Posted a picture on Facebook (November 25, 2014) of a sign reading “Israel=terrorism,” with the name of the organization below the words.
  • Promotes a Palestinian “right of return,” which, if implemented would effectually mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state.
  • Published a December 21, 2014 study, “Barriers to Love, Love, and Residency Rights: A Case Study on Kufr Aqab,” alleging that “Women in occupied Palestine face social, political, and physical obstacles to marriage and family life. These include Israeli-imposed restrictions on family reunification, residency rights, and freedom of mobility.” PWWSD claims that the obstacles with which Palestinian women are confronted are due entirely to “Israeli imposed restrictions,” thus presenting an inaccurate and distorted view of the conflict, omitting the subjugation of women within Palestinian society, and ignoring Palestinian terror against Israeli civilians and Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense.

BDS Activities

  • In August 2021, PWWSD was a signatory on a position paper calling for “Refusing to reward the Israeli occupation and benefit it in any way from the reconstruction process by boycotting all Israeli products as well as companies that deal with the Israeli authorities.”
  • In May 2020, PWWSD was a signatory on a statement calling for “Immediate targeted sanctions to stop Israel’s annexation and apartheid.” The statement further called for “A ban on arms trade and military-security cooperation with Israel,” “Suspension of trade and cooperation agreements with Israel,” and “Investigation and prosecution of individuals and corporate actors responsible for war crimes/crimes against humanity in the context of Israel’s regime of illegal occupation and apartheid.”
  • In 2019, PWSSD lobbied in support of the discriminatory UN database of businesses operating across the 1949 Armistice line, aimed at bolstering BDS campaigns against Israel.
  • On March 8, 2016, PWWSD was a signatory to the “Palestinian Women’s Call for Worldwide Women’s Endorsement of BDS,” which called on women and feminists to join BDS campaigns because the “the Israeli regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid has for decades denied the Palestinian people our inalienable right to self-determination.”
  • Signatory to the 2005 “Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS” against Israel, which seeks to end the “occupation and colonization of all Arab lands” and promotes the right of “Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties.” These goals undermine the fundamental right of the Jewish people to self-determination.


  • PWWSD is a member of the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), which refused to sign the anti-terror clause that is a condition of US government funding, stating “that its members would not sign funding agreements that included the ATC [Anti-Terror Certificate]: this is now a condition for membership under PNGO byelaws [sic]” (emphasis added).
    • In January 2020, PNGO vehemently opposed a new clause in European Union grant contracts with Palestinian NGOs that prohibits grantees from working with and funding organizations and individuals designated on the EU’s terror lists.  According to media reports, PNGO claimed that Palestinian terrorist organizations are “political parties.”
    • In April 2017, PNGO called on the international community not to “use aid to undermine legitimate Palestinian resistance.” According to PNGO, “We reject all de-legitimization or criminalization of lawful Palestinian resistance, whether in form of allegations of terrorism, anti-semitism or otherwise… We call on all governments and aid providers to respect our right to lawful resistance, support Palestinian human rights defenders, and ensure equal, impartial and transparent access to funding for all.”
    • In March 2016, as a member of Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), PNGO stated that “Israel’s current government, its most racist ever, has dropped all pretences of ‘enlightenment’ and ‘democracy’. This has helped to expose Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid to world public opinion like never before.”

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