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Gendering Access to Credit: Business Legitimacy in Mandate Palestine


Although business historiography has demonstrated a variety of impediments placed on women’s entry to entrepreneurship and business, the negotiated mechanisms that constructed the gendered selection has been understudied. Based on an analysis of loan applications by Jewish women in British-ruled Palestine before 1948, this article shows how material considerations to approve the loans and facilitate entry to business activity were based not merely on gender-oriented perceptions on the legitimacy of doing business, but also on a mosaic of normative constructions of family, community, and nation building.

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