Femena: Right, Peace, Inclusion

Femena: Right, Peace, Inclusion
Supporting WHRDs & progressive feminist movements in MENA & Asia.

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On International Women’s Day Femena Stands in Solidarity with Palestinian Women

On this International Women’s Day – a day of collective global activism dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating women’s struggles for equality – we at Femena stand in solidarity with Palestinian women and with the women of Gaza in particular.  

For us, this March 8th is a somber one, as we note the death toll in Gaza, which has surpassed 30,000 and is primarily women and children.  

The brutal and relentless war that Israel has waged in Gaza for the past five months has had devastating effects on Palestinian women. The violence unleashed upon the women of Gaza and the utterly cruel conditions that they have had to endure, as a result, almost defy description. The obliteration of medical facilities has meant that pregnant women have endured cesarean sections without anesthesia. As a result of malnutrition, there has been a rise in premature births. However, the medical infrastructure needed to care for premature babies has also been destroyed. Parents have had to witness the amputation of their children’s limbs – without anesthetics. The control and cutting off of vital resources, including water, fuel, electricity, and food, and the restrictions on the entry and distribution of aid have resulted in starvation. Mothers skip meals to feed their children. Some must decide which child will eat on a certain day due to insufficient food. The destruction of more than 60% of Gaza’s homes and many shelters have left women and children vulnerable to hazardous environments, unsanitary conditions, and illness, and exposed to life-threatening toxic wastes and chemicals. The catalog of horrors is virtually endless. 

While mainstream media in the West extensively covered the alleged sexual violence committed by Hamas, reports of sexual violence committed against Palestinians in custody have not received the same coverage.  In both Gaza and the West Bank, the Israeli military is detaining Palestinian women and subjecting them to inhumane conditions and humiliating treatment.  

Over 80% of the population of Gaza is currently displaced, deprived of sufficient food, living in makeshift shelters, and continuing to experience bombardment and violence. 

We at Femena are outraged at the violence and indignity to which Palestinian women have been subjected.  We cannot “celebrate” International Women’s Day while our Palestinian sisters experience such brutality and violence. We call upon all feminists of conscience to decry this violence and to reject the double standards that have led to the dehumanization of Palestinians and the erasure of their suffering. 

We at Femena believe that militarism, occupation, colonialism, patriarchy, and fundamentalism are interrelated structures of oppression currently resulting in systemic violence against Palestinian women.  The liberation of Palestinian women will only be achieved through ending these systems of oppression.