A group of 300 or so women representing various parts of Palestine, whose first meeting was held in Jerusalem on October 26, 1929. This was the first nationwide women’s political meeting. The organizers were wives of prominent figures and included Wahida al-Khalidi (wife of Hussein al-Khalidi) and Amina al-Husseini (wife of Jamal al-Husseini), and the congress was led by Salma al-Husseini (wife of Musa Kazim al-Husseini). It adopted resolutions consistent with Palestinian national demands: repealing the Balfour Declaration, ending Jewish immigration, annulling the Collecting Punishment Ordinance, and ending the mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners and demonstrators. The congress established a 14-member Executive Committee and called for the establishment of women’s societies in Palestinian cities. The first congress is generally regarded as marking the beginning of the modern Palestinian women’s movement—although it was not a feminist movement per se—protesting Jewish immigration and economic conditions with a gender consciousness.
Similar societies, some called Arab Women’s Committees, were founded in most cities. They were active during the general strike and revolt of 1936 to 1939. These committees also made sure to attend trials of rebels to show the authorities that the prisoners had mass support and to raise the rebels’ morale.