Every hour, two mothers lose their lives in the Gaza conflict according to the United Nations Women’s organization.
The study analyzes the disproportionate effects of the conflict based on gender. According to health authorities in Gaza, the conflict has resulted in over 23,000 Palestinian fatalities, with approximately 16,000 being women or children.
Failure and trauma
UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous stated in a report that it is evident that women and children are the most affected by conflict, and it is our responsibility to prioritize peace for their well-being. Unfortunately, we are not meeting this duty and are letting them down.
She cautioned that the failure and lasting damage suffered by the Palestinian community during these 100 days will have a lasting impact on future generations.
UN Women expressed grave alarm at the reports of appalling acts of sexual violence and other forms of gender-based violence that occurred during the Hamas-led assaults on Israel on October 7, which ultimately sparked the ongoing conflict.
The organization demanded responsibility, fairness, and assistance for all individuals impacted and for the prompt and unconditional release of all captives.
UN Women stated that the current situation in Gaza presents a serious threat to the safety of women, as no area within the enclave is deemed secure.
Approximately 1.9 million individuals have been displaced, with almost one million being women and girls. These females must face difficult choices about when, how, and where to evacuate, and their decisions are heavily influenced by their gender-specific fears and past experiences. This is due to the potential dangers of attacks and harassment while they are in motion.
According to UN Women, approximately 3,000 women have potentially become widows and household heads, while around 10,000 children may have lost their fathers. This has led to concerns that families may turn to extreme measures like early marriage out of desperation.
At the same time, during the crisis, women’s rights groups are still functioning. In November, UN Women conducted a quick survey of 12 organizations led by women and one led by youth. The survey showed that 83% of these organizations were at least partially operational, primarily focusing on emergency response efforts.
Less than 1% of the funding from the 2023 Flash Appeal for Gaza has been allocated to women’s groups.
Staying the course
The document is a component of UN Women’s six-month strategy for Gaza, which involves giving urgent food aid to more than 14,000 households led by women and aiding in the delivery of requested items by women in the area, such as clothing, hygiene products, and infant formula.
The organization is collaborating with female-led groups to provide services that address gender-based violence. It is creating committees led by women in shelters for protection and support, and holding regular discussions with women’s organizations to address the difficulties they encounter.