…a safe space to discuss the labyrinth of gender-based issues affecting Palestinian women from a place of compassion and unconditional fond regard, with the conviction that business and social impact should foster one another.
That really long sentence you just read is the BabyFist mission statement. What started as a personal reaction against street harassment has grown into a social movement for gender equality.
BabyFist was born in Palestine out of the urge to give women pieces of clothing to empower them as they go about their day. I’ve started designing defiant statement pieces to let everyone know that a woman is most definitely “Not Your Habibti.”
I coined this phrase (and its sister phrases) both to draw attention to the rampant sexual harassment on the streets of Palestine, to craft an individual response to such harassment, and to build a family of support around something which affects us all. The goal in creating my apparel is to nurture the young women who know the daily burden of unwanted sexual advances and look for a little of their own freedom in the clothes they wear.
Because of my aim to support the local economy, BabyFist works with local Palestinian businesses to produce our apparel. Our denim jackets are made in Gaza and our t-shirts and hoodies are made in the Ramallah.
Through our, workshops, socially-engaged art projects, and our blog, BabyFist is sparking a long overdue conversation about the things we're normally not supposed to talk about. Taking up a cause for your own rights can be daunting but the BabyFist movement is meant to provide a family for the brave.
Finally, 10% of the proceeds are donated to Palestinian women’s struggle for self-sufficiency. Because I’d rather fight for the life I want to have rather than the life I should have had, I’m encouraging young women to take up this cause, hence the name BabyFist: the defiant youth.
Now, raise that BabyFist and take back your streets!
P.S. watch this beautiful video:
This is a behind-the-scenes video about how the BabyFist came to be and how it works to foster vulnerable conversations for women's empowerment. Video shot and edited by Malak Saleh.