JERUSALEM—(October 9, 2014)– Increased participation by Palestinian women is crucial to creating a process towards peacefully resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and bringing sustainable development to the West Bank and Gaza, according to international humanitarian organization CARE.
The aid organization calls on the hosts and co-chairs of the Cairo International Conference on Palestine: “Reconstructing Gaza” and the Palestinian Government of National Consensus (PGNC) to ensure women’s equal participation and full involvement at the conference and in the reconstruction of Gaza, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1325.
“Women have the right to equal participation and it is crucial that this right be realized in order for women to convey their particular concerns, knowledge and ideas for how their communities may enter the path of peace and sustainable development. With all the international efforts that have gone into trying to resolve this conflict, it is high time that the potential role of women is appreciated” says René Celaya, CARE Country Director in the West Bank and Gaza.
As plans are drawn up for reconstruction in Gaza, gender and women’s participation must be factored in from the start. War affects women, men, boys and girls in different ways. The recent crisis, as well as longer-term impacts of conflict, and traditional social dynamics, further limits the social space for women, having a negative impact on women’s health and vulnerability to violence in particular. These issues must be addressed with the participation of women themselves. Women need to be part of the way forward and their voices heard in identifying priorities, implementing programs, monitoring and evaluating progress.
CARE recommends that the Palestinian Government of National Consensus and donors come together in increasing the support for civil society organizations that are able to enhance the range of social, economic and political roles of women in Palestinian society in general and in reconstructing Gaza in particular.
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CARE West Bank and Gaza: CARE’s works with local partners in Gaza to provide emergency medical services through mobile health clinics, including to pregnant women, distribute hygiene kits and coordinate security information for aid agencies. As part of the efforts to rebuild Gaza, CARE will assist people recover and develop their livelihoods. CARE’s long term development programs assist Palestinian communities achieve economic empowerment and greater gender equity by providing sustainable livelihood opportunities, with a particular focus on the participation of women and youth.
About CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passes. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. To learn more, visit www.care.org.