ESCWA is supporting the Palestinian Ministry of Women’s Affairs in organizing an international conference on the status of Palestinian women in the aftermath of the May 2021 Israeli military attacks on the Gaza Strip and other Palestinian populations. The conference will highlight the gendered impact of the conflict on women and girls in Palestine, particularly in the Gaza Strip.
The offensive from 10 to 21 May 2021 was the most intense since the seven-week 2014 Israeli war on Gaza. In the aftermath of the bombardments, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory reported 253 casualties (149 men, 38 women, 43 boys and 23 girls) in Gaza and nearly 2000 people were injured (940 men, 398 women, 610 children). Furthermore, 58 education facilities and 28 health structures were damaged and more than 1800 housing and commercial units were damaged or destroyed, leaving thousands of people displaced; 800,000 people have no regular access to safe piped water. The immediate, short-term and long-term gendered impact of the conflict must be properly assessed in order to ensure a coordinated and comprehensive response that challenges and transforms gender inequalities rather than maintaining them.
In May 2021, thousands of people around the world demonstrated against Israel's military aggression, showing solidarity with the Palestinians. The conference aims to capitalize on this international momentum and translate this solidarity into action. The experiences faced by Palestinian women and girls, particularly those in Gaza, are being highlighted. Means to ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable are also under discussion.